Extra 534 tonnes of waste collected by refuse crews during lockdown, council reveals

Refuse crews across Fenland have seen a sharp rise in the amount of waste they have collected during

Refuse crews across Fenland have seen a sharp rise in the amount of waste they have collected during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

An extra 534 tonnes of waste and recycling was collected by Fenland District Council (FDC) in a month, an increase of 17 per cent since the coronavirus lockdown was enforced.

Fenland District Councils bulky waste collection service has resumed during the coronavirus lockdown

Fenland District Councils bulky waste collection service has resumed during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Refuse crews collected the extra waste between March 23 and April 23, with 38 tonnes of recycling and 92 tonnes of green bin waste being gathered every working day, a rise of 12 per cent.

Garden waste has also seen a 36 per cent increase, and although the team has been reduced, additional staff have been trained along with an extra refuse collection vehicle to cope with the increased demand.

Councillor Peter Murphy, FDC portfolio holder for the environment, said: “With more people staying at home, the refuse crews have collected unprecedented levels of waste, but they have adapted to the situation with incredible professionalism and determination to get the job done.

“Our thanks must go to them for working so hard to make sure all blue, green and brown bin collections have been maintained as normal.

Refuse crews across Fenland have seen a sharp rise in the amount of waste they have collected during

Refuse crews across Fenland have seen a sharp rise in the amount of waste they have collected during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

“I’d also like to thank the street cleansing team for continuing to provide an excellent seven-day service and the workshop staff who are keeping our vehicles on the road.”

To help refuse crews cope with the heavy demand, Fenland residents are being asked to follow five tips to help keep services running as normal:

1. Recycle right – flatten and fold cardboard, wash and squash plastic and put the right things in the right bins by using the council’s Getting It Sorted website at https://www.gettingitsorted.org/.

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2. Reduce and reuse – waste less by using items again, consider upcycling, only buying food you need, freezing food before it goes off and cooking or freezing leftovers.

3. Get composting – reduce your food and garden waste by composting at home. More information at www.getcomposting.com.

4. Care for your crew – if possible, please clean your bin handles when you put them out for collection to help keep our crews safe. If you’re self-isolating with symptoms of COVID-19, please double bag personal waste such as tissues and store them separately for 72 hours before adding them to your green bin.

5. Keep your clear-out – hold onto any waste you would normally take to Cambridgeshire County Council’s Household Recycling Centres until they reopen. Please don’t leave waste outside charity shops or recycling banks – this is fly-tipping.

Please don’t burn waste either – it is an unnecessary risk that could divert vital fire and rescue resources and bonfire smoke can aggravate respiratory problems, causing breathing difficulties to those most vulnerable to coronavirus.

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