READING Borough Council has suspended its garden waste collection service to focus limited resources on the collection of household waste from black bins and recycling from doorsteps.
Due to staff shortages related to the Covid 19 outbreak, garden waste collections are suspended from today and for the immediate future. This will allow Council crews to maintain priority collection services from black bins and recycling bins.
As it is the final week of the 2019-20 garden waste collection service refunds will not be issued, but the Council is delaying the renewal of subscription for the 2020-21 service, which was due to begin on April 1st. This delay means residents will still receive the full year’s collection of garden waste they have paid for from the point at which the service is resumed. All new garden waste subscription renewals have been suspended until further notice, as have the delivery of new garden waste and recycling containers/bins.
For the period that garden waste collections are suspended, residents are being advised to consider storing garden waste at home by cutting it up and leaving it in a corner of the garden, or making a compost heap if gardening is needed. For information on composting containers please visit www.getcomposting.com. The Household Waste Recycling Centre in Reading remains closed at this time.
The Council will widely publicise the time when garden waste collections will resume. For the very latest information on Council services go to https://www.reading.gov.uk/coronavirus
Sophia James, Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods at the Council, said:
“The level of staff shortages which are hitting our waste collection services means we have little option but to focus dwindling resources on the collection of normal household waste from black bins and recycling.
“We of course appreciate the inconvenience this will cause, particularly now when people are using the time to maintain their back gardens. We hope they will understand that the priority needs to be ensuring we can continue with the collections of residual waste and recycling, which we will do. I know that other councils are having to make similar difficult decisions at this time.”
All Councils have a statutory duty to provide the collection of residual and recyclable waste, and a clinical/healthcare waste collection if requested. Garden waste collections are an optional service that councils provide.
The Council appreciates that extra residual waste may be being generated at a time when people are at home. To help crews, the Council is asking people to try and avoid putting out extra waste with their black bins. If you have no choice but put out excess waste, please put it in a refuse sack next to your black bin the morning of your collection, rather than the night before. If you have neighbours who won’t fill their grey or red bins, please ask if you can put any excess waste in their bin to avoid it being in a bag, whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines. Bulky waste collections were suspended by the Council earlier this week.
Residents are being asked to check online in the first instance for the very latest information on services at https://www.reading.gov.uk/coronavirus.
If residents do need to contact the Council by phone as a last resort, please be patient as the Contact Centre is dealing with unprecedented call numbers from people needing priority assistance at this time.