This is green waste collection week in Ludlow. It might just be the last for a while. So far it has been possible to keep all collection rounds running but it is getting more difficult as staff numbers fall.
If collections are reduced during the Covid-19 emergency, green waste collection will be the first to go. If staffing levels fall further, collection of boxes of dry recyclables and blue bags of paper and card will be paused. There is no threat to black bins but please do not overload your black bins with material you can store until the emergency passes.
Have a thought also for our waste and recycling operatives. Classed as key workers, waste operatives are exempt from social distancing. They travel three to four a cab. We need our waste collectors to ensure that one health emergency does not trigger another.
Shropshire Council is preparing to implement its Business Continuity Plan to keep waste and recycling collection services going as collection staff self-isolate or remain at home to care for children or relatives. It is likely that waste collection services will be reduced for a few weeks. Recycling centres, including the Craven Arms site, are already closed for the duration.
Is staffing levels become too low, green bin collections will go first.
Please do not put food waste in your green bin until the emergency ends as it may not be collected. It could rapidly become a health hazard as the weather warms. Please put food waste in the black bin.
As for garden waste, why not find a corner of your garden and build a compost heap? You don’t need a compost bin. Not only will you get your own compost, the heap will be home to a variety of bugs and beasties, boosting biodiversity and helping control pests.
If staff shortages increase, dry recyclables – cans, bottles, plastic and paper – will not be collected. Please store them for as long as you can, having rinsed cans, bottles and plastic. Please do not overload the black bins with recyclables.
There is no expectation that black bin collection will end. The worst case scenario is that collections will be reduced. But we are not expecting that.
There is a real danger that the volume of black bin waste will increase significantly. That could overload the trucks reducing the number of households they can serve on one round.
Garden waste would be one part of the overload. As I have said above, please compost.
If you can, please store dry recyclables – cans, bottles, cardboard and paper in a shed – to ease pressure on services.
Many of us are getting on with decluttering and decorating while we are in self-isolation, on furlough or unable to work. But please don’t put your decluttered artefacts in black bins. Old irons, any old iron along with anything you would normally take to the Craven Arms recycling centre should be stored until the emergency eases.
Shropshire Council’s waste and recycling team and Veolia are working hard to keep collection services going. We can all help by reducing the volume of waste as far as we can.