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Councils' plea for residents to avoid 'spiralling waste' during coronavirus outbreak

District councils have issued a plea to residents minimise their household rubbish over concerns that the coronavirus pandemic will cause a "spiralling of waste".

Credit: Lincoln Council

The District Councils Network, which represents district authorities across the country, said it fears the pandemic will lead to a "wave of waste" in the coming weeks with families staying at home.

It added that, while it was pleased that people are staying safe at home, residents should work with local councils to manage bin collections.

The network also urged against burning of any waste on bonfires.

Councillor Dan Humphreys, District Council Network Lead Member for Enhancing Quality of Life, said:

These are challenging times for everyone in the country right now, and all of our public services are being overstretched as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

"While most of the nation is quite rightly in isolation, and able to work from home, our refuse collectors continue to go out to empty people's bins and dispose of their waste.

"Alongside many other frontline services, the efforts of our waste collection staff should be applauded, as they are playing a key role in helping to keep the country running during this difficult period.

"Make no mistake, councils and their contractors have plans in place to try and ensure that everyone's bins are collected.

"But we would ask the public to play their part, too. Where possible we would ask residents to think twice about how much waste is put out - such a small step could make a huge difference."

– Dan Humphreys

It comes as councils across Lincolnshire have either closed recycling centres or tips in the face of the virus.

Lincolnshire County Council has closed tips, but bin collections remain as normal.

The District Council Network offered the following advice to people on managing their waste:

  • Contact your council to see if they are still operating paid for bulky waste collection
  • Private companies offer this as well but people need to check any company they use is properly registered for handling waste by the Environment Agency
  • Try and compost any garden waste at home
  • Cut down cardboard boxes so they can be put into the appropriate recycling bin - this makes life much easier for waste collection staff
  • Store any excess waste from DIY projects, spring cleans or garden waste at home until it can be disposed of safely and legally