Brown (garden waste) bin collections have been suspended until further notice due to the developing COVID-19 situation.
A reduction in bin collection staff means there aren’t enough people to carry out brown collections, without disrupting green (general waste) and grey (recycling) collections.
This is part of Wirral Council’s waste contingency plan announced on 20 March to ensure green (general waste) bins and waste that could be hazardous to health continue to be collected.
Biffa, Wirral’s waste collection contractor, have already trained and redeployed many of their street cleansing staff to carry out waste collection duties, but we have reached a point when this will not be enough and staff will be needed from the garden waste crews.
Once collections resume, current subscribers to the garden waste collection service will receive at least 5 collections prior to having to subscribe again to make up for missed collections between now and the end of the current subscription period (May 31).
Wirral aren’t the first council in Merseyside to suspend garden waste subscriptions to prioritise general waste and recycling collections, with Liverpool and St Helens having already done so.
Despite the suspension of garden waste collections, residents are being urged to dispose of garden waste responsibly, with composting the preferred and most environmentally friendly method.
For composting advice and top tips, visit the Recycle Now website.
Wirral Council and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) are also asking residents not to burn or fly tip their garden waste to avoid unnecessary burden on services.
The MFRS said: ‘Responding to deliberately-set fires can endanger lives by taking vital firefighting resources away from other emergencies – and deliberate fires could even lead to fatalities themselves.’
Residents near a fire could be recovering from the effects of COVID-19 and in line with government advice, are keeping their windows open. Smoke from bonfires or other sources can be distressing in these circumstances and may hamper recovery or worsen symptoms.
Likewise, please do not fly tip your garden waste – the council does not have the resources available to clean it up currently. Plus, it's illegal, meaning you may be liable to prosecution.
Strict guidance has also been issued by the council to help protect residents and bin collection crews from exposure to COVID-19 while handling bins.
- Wipe down bin handles with an anti-bacterial wipe/spray after bringing it back to your property after emptying.
- Wash your hands thoroughly using government advice after handling the bin.
- Adhere to the social distancing guidelines of 2 metres while bin collection crews are in your street.
- Ensure all waste is contained in your bin/s with the lid closed and no waste is loose next to your bin.
- Anyone who feels ill at home (whether diagnosed with COVID-19 or not) should place ALL their waste, including recycling, in the general waste (green) bin, and should double-bag it, making sure the bags are securely tied. They should then wait at least 72 hours before placing it out for collection.