Green-fingered residents can look forward the return of brown bin collections from next week.
Stafford Borough Council temporarily suspended its garden waste collection service last month so bin crews could focus on ensuring household rubbish and recycling were dealt with.
The coronavirus crisis – and self-isolation measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 – resulted in a ‘significant reduction’ in crews.
Household recycling centres were closed on March 25 by Staffordshire County Council as part of the current measures in place to combat coronavirus – and residents were advised they can compost waste that would normally be put in their brown bins.
But this week the borough council announced brown bin collections would resume from Monday, April 27, after waste contractors Veolia revealed a number of crew members are now returning to work after self-isolation periods.
Some of the council’s own Streetscene staff, who already hold HGV licences, are also being retrained to assist with collections.
The return of the brown bin collection has been welcomed by Councillor Jonathan Price, cabinet member for environment. But residents have been warned the situation may change again if necessary.
Councillor Price said: “I know it has been difficult for our residents. Thank you for your patience, and support for our bin crews, during these very challenging times.
“We said we would bring the garden waste service back as soon as we could and that will now happen on Monday (April 27).
“But we also know this crisis has been fast changing and there are many services we deliver to the public that may be changed at very short notice because of the pandemic.
“We will continue putting information on our website and social media so please share this news to friends and family so they will not forget to put their brown bins out when it is their scheduled day.
“I am very grateful to all the bin crews, and the many frontline staff at the council, for the work they are doing in these circumstances and it has also been pleasing to see the fantastic support they have had from our residents.”
Residents are being advised to put out their brown bins on their normal collection day by 7am. Crews will only be able to empty each bin once per scheduled collection however – they will not be able to wait for refills or take additional garden waste.
Residents are urged not to overfill their brown bins because they cannot be emptied if they are too heavy. And soil, compost, turf, rubble and stone must not be put in brown bins.
The brown bin collection service is currently free, but it is set to become an optional paid-for service in 2021, costing £36 a year for households who want to continue using it.
For more information about the recycling and waste service go to the council’s website.