Why is my brown bin being emptied every four weeks?

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our resources have been prioritised to ensure the successful continuation of essential services. This includes the fortnightly uplift of household waste from green bins, the fortnightly emptying of recycling containers and the weekly food waste collection.

We had to change the way in which our crews operate, with the introduction of additional safe working practices and the formation of crew 'bubbles' to prevent transmission of the virus. With the available staff focused on statutory frontline services, we had to change the garden waste service from a fortnightly collection to being uplifted every four weeks.

Unlike other services, the collection of garden waste is not a statutory service which the council is required to provide. In recent years, some councils have either stopped the service completely or introduced supplementary charges.

Despite the challenges since the Spring of 2020, we have managed to maintain a free service for residents every four weeks. The service continues to be available to all who require it, with around 50% of household properties presenting a brown bin to be uplifted.

The pandemic continues to present significant 'response' challenges across council services, with our business continuity plans remaining invoked. While progress has been made and the vaccination programme is being rolled out, the position is fragile and the virus continues to present a risk to public health.

That's why we need to continue operating the service on a different basis at this time, with a consistent level of service being provided for all households requiring it.

We will continue to review the provision of the garden waste service within available resources.