City of York Council is introducing temporary changes to the recycling process in order to protect its vital frontline staff and allow for additional social distancing measures during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Residents are still required to leave recycling boxes at the kerbside and continue to separate materials in their boxes as normal. Collection days will also remain unchanged.
Waste crews will now be working in smaller teams to ensure that they can maintain a safe distance during working hours to protect themselves from infection.
Residents should be aware of the following changes to recycling collections, which include:
- recycling will be split into two vehicles
- a vehicle will collect plastic, tins and glass. Some mixing on the vehicle may take place
- another vehicle will collect paper and cardboard
- residents may experience two separate collections of recycling on the same day as the two vehicles may not arrive at the same time
- in some instances, this may take a number of hours
- as some mixing on the plastic, tins and glass vehicle will take place, the council will accept mixed plastic, tins and glass, but cardboard and paper must be separated
- the council encourages residents to put out their recycling as normal, for 7am.
Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “Our waste crews are providing a vital service during the Coronavirus pandemic to every household in York. We have to take these additional measures to protect them as much as we can. By pausing the start of garden waste collections, we now have more staff to focus on collecting recycling and household waste.
“You won’t see any changes other than your recycling may be collected at different times, with some limited mixing of glass, plastic and tin. It is important to highlight that some residents may have two separate collections of recycling on the same day and in some instances, this may take a number of hours between collections.
“Where mixing of glass, plastic and tin happens, we can assure residents that this will be separated after collection and recycled. We will seek to recover any additional costs of doing this from the government.”
The council announced last week that it would be postponing the start of garden waste collections, due to start this month, in order to ensure household waste and recycling collections were given priority.
These steps are being taken because of extraordinary pressures on frontline services during the outbreak of Coronavirus and a significantly reduced workforce. This decision has freed up more frontline crews and vehicles to focus on collecting recycling and household waste in a safe way for frontline staff.
The situation with garden waste collections will be kept under constant review, with an intention to resume garden waste collections as soon as practically possible. The council is encouraging residents to compost their garden waste at home, and to support residents in this effort, advice and tips for easy composting at home is available at www.york.gov.uk.composting.
Bolstering frontline services
The council has reallocated people from other teams, so that it can continue collecting household waste (black bins) and recycling boxes.
This includes redeploying staff from other services such as public realm and highways. The council is also working hard to increase its staff resource, including training a number of First and Pullman bus drivers, plus processing the applications made in response to the council’s urgent recruitment to support the refuse collection service.
Check when your bins will next be collected, get the latest service updates – all online! www.york.gov.uk/waste