Residents urged to keep waste to a minimum

1 April 2020

North Yorkshire householders are being encouraged to reduce the amount of waste they create while the county’s household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) are temporarily closed and kerbside collection services are under pressure as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

North Yorkshire County Council’s 20 HWRCs closed in March for the safety of staff and to discourage unnecessary travel as part of the Government’s drive to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Throughout this period district and borough councils around the county will prioritise collection of general waste for public health reasons. Collections of recycling will continue for as long as they have the resources to operate this service. Each will make its own decision if it is necessary to temporarily change or suspend some non-essential collection services like garden and bulky waste collection.

County Councillor Andrew Lee, Executive Member for Waste Management, speaking on behalf of the county, borough and district councils, said:

We understand that during this time of confinement people are at home when they wouldn’t normally be, so may generate more waste, particularly if they need to have food and other essentials delivered. But we ask them to consider their waste and minimise it as far as possible to support the efforts of the refuse collection teams, who are key workers doing a vital job at a difficult time. If you overload your general waste bin, it may not be emptied.

It may be tempting to use this time to carry out DIY or gardening projects or spring cleaning, but before starting please think about the rubbish that might be created. You won’t be able to take it to a household waste recycling centre and bulky items or garden waste should not be added to your general waste bin.

Any bulky waste would need to be stored at your home until the HWRCs are able to reopen, so if you don’t have space to do that, please hold off on such work.

Do not fly tip. It is an offence punishable by fines or imprisonment and offenders will be prosecuted. Beyond that it is an eyesore and a potential health hazard at a time when, more than ever, we should be showing respect for the place we live and those we share it with.

Government advice has been provided to protect refuse collection teams and combat the spread of infection and anyone who feels ill at home, whether or not they have been diagnosed with Covid-19, should place all their waste in the general rubbish bin and should double-bag it, making sure the bags are securely tied. They should then wait at least 72 hours before placing it out for collection in their general waste bin.

Please ensure bin handles are cleaned before and after collection to help to protect yourself and the collection teams during this period.

Householders should check their borough or district council website for updates about kerbside collections. Any enquiries about refuse or recycling collections should be made to your district or borough council.

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