West Norfolk food waste collections go fortnightly due to coronavirus
Food waste collections in West Norfolk will be reduced to once a fortnight from next week because of the coronavirus, it has been announced.
Borough council chiefs say the measure, which will be in place until further notice, is necessary as smaller crews are working on lorries due to self-isolation and revised social distancing guidance.
However, collections of garden waste from residents' brown bins will resume.
Ian Devereux, West Norfolk Council cabinet member for environment, said today: “Our refuse staff have been working really hard to keep up the usual collection service for our area.
"But with some staff self-isolating, and new guidelines on social distancing that we must follow, we have had to change the way our weekly food waste collections happen."
From Monday, residents are being asked to only put out their food waste caddies with their black, general waste bins.
The caddies will not be emptied on days when recyclable waste in the green bins is collected.
And the council has warned that, in some areas, food waste will have to be combined with general rubbish because there are fewer personnel on lorries.
Mr Devereux admitted he was disappointed at the move and urged residents to help reduce food waste by only buying what they need to.
He said: “We want people to continue to collect their food waste in the caddy so that they don’t get out of the habit for when all this is over.
"However, disappointingly it will be collected each fortnight with the black bin waste and in many cases will be sent for disposal.
"We aren’t happy about it, but we have no choice under the exceptional and unprecedented national circumstances in which we find ourselves.
"As soon as things return to normal, rest assured the weekly food collection will be reinstated and this will be collected and processed in the usual, environmentally friendly way."
For residents with brown bins, collections will resume next week where the bins were due to be emptied in the week beginning March 23 and next week where collections were due to take place in the week beginning March 30.
Mr Devereux said: "All subscribers will have their renewal dates extended to ensure they still get their 25 brown bin collections that they have paid for."
Meanwhile, Stuart Dark, the authority's recently-appointed cabinet member for emergency planning, has praised residents for their support of the borough's bin workers during the crisis.
He said: "I would also like to thank all those residents who are sending thank you messages to our key workers by leaving messages on the bins or on social media.
"It really lifts their spirits and ismorale booster for these teams who have to leave their families to deliver this essential service.It is very much appreciated.
"We are sorry that the new guidance will affect waste collections in the short term, but we must all follow government advice to protect the NHS and save lives.”