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Highland Council issues householders with guidance on recycling and waste services during Coronavirus

24th March 2020

The Highland Council's Waste and Recycling team have on (Monday 23 March 2020) issued special Coronavirus (COVID19) guidance to update households on new arrangements and to provide specific information for anyone self-isolating.

From today the Council has suspended the booking of new bulky uplift collections to allow staff to concentrate on providing regular waste collections. Every attempt will be made for crews to deal with requests already booked but from now on householders will need to take their bulky items to one of the Council's Household Waste Recycling Centre. Full details of where these sites are situated is available on the council’s website - https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/1063/rubbish_-_household_waste/873/household_recycling_centres

The Council has also currently suspended its brown bin garden waste collections to all households. Anyone with garden waste is asked to take it to their nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre or consider home composting.

Anyone self-isolating due to displaying symptoms of coronavirus is asked to ensure that all waste items that have been in contact with the individual, such as tissues and cloths, are disposed of securely within disposal bags. When full these bags should be placed in a second bag and tied and then stored for 72 hours before being put out for collection.

Other rubbish and recycling collections are operating as normal, however, due to staff shortages, the council is warning that they may need to suspend some services at short notice.

Carron McDiarmid, Executive Chief Officer for Communities and Place said: "While we are doing our best to maintain our regular waste and recycling collections we need to be realistic and plan for staff shortages. We are therefore asking people to put out their bins for collection as normal for 7am on their scheduled day but if the bins are not emptied by 5pm please take them off the street and put them out again on the next scheduled collection day. Regular updates will be provided on the Council’s website and social media channels."

The Guidance is available below and by going to https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/1054/rubbish_and_recycling/905/rubbish_and_recycling_guidance_-_coronavirus_covid-19

Rubbish and Recycling Guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19) 23/03/2020

What should households do with their rubbish who are self-isolating due to displaying symptoms of Coronavirus?

Ensure all waste items that have been in contact with the individual (eg; used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths) are disposed of securely within disposable bags. When full, the plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. These bags should be stored for 72 hours before being put out for collection. Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

If your refuse bin is full please store excess bags safely in a shed or garage until your next collection.

Can the collection crew pull out my bin from my garden if I am self-isolating?

The refuse collection crews are unable to pull out bins from gardens for households that are self- isolating. Please see the guidance on what to do with your rubbish whilst self-isolating.

Bulky uplift collections have been suspended

Bulky uplift collection bookings will be suspended from Monday 23rd March so we can undertake priority refuse and recycling collections. The Council will endeavour to uplift any bulky uplifts booked prior to this date. Householders can take bulky items to Household Waste Recycling Centres for disposal please see the link for a list of Household Waste Recycling Centres https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/1063/rubbish_-_household_waste/873/household_recycling_centres

Garden waste collection service has been suspended

The garden waste collection service has been suspended due to staff shortages. Regular updates will be provided on the Council’s website and social media. Any enquiries about garden waste should be sent to recycle@highland.gov.uk

Rubbish and recycling collections - (household and commercial)

Rubbish and recycling collections are operating as usual. However, please be advised that due to staff shortages we may need to suspend some services at short notice.

Please put out your bin for collection for 7am on your scheduled collection day as there may be changes to your collection time. If your bins are not emptied by 5pm please take them off the street and present them again on the next scheduled collection day. Regular updates will be provided on the Council’s website and social media.

Assisted collections

Due to changes in staff, waste and recycling assisted collections may be collected by a different crew and at a different time. Please make sure your containers are easily accessible and visible by 7am.

Household Waste Recycling Centres

Please be aware that we may need to temporarily close the Recycling Centres at short notice. Regular updates will be provided on the Council’s website and social media. Our Householders who are self-isolating are requested to avoid visiting Household Waste Recycling Centres. Householders who use the sites should observe social distancing principles.

Litter, dogs bins and street cleansing

There will be reduced street cleansing, including street sweeping and litter bin emptying. Please take litter and dog waste home with you where possible.

Where can I find the latest information about rubbish and recycling collections during?

Please check the Councils website www.highland.gov.uk regularly as the situation is changing rapidly.

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