Residents are being reminded that the city council tip remains closed in response to the coronavirus outbreak and warned that this is not an excuse to fly-tip.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s household waste and recycling centre at Hanford is closed, and being carefully reviewed by the authority, following national guidelines.
Council leader Abi Brown said: “National advice states that we should all only be leaving home for essential travel. We all have a critical role to play in stopping this horrible virus, and we, as a city council, also take our role in protecting residents and our staff extremely seriously.
“We are reviewing our waste services daily. We understand that people want to dispose of their waste. But we ask for people to continue to be responsible and have patience at this time. We know that many thousands of people have died of this awful disease across the country and we all in Stoke-on-Trent have been doing a fantastic job of limiting its spread in our city. We need to continue this work. The closure of the tip is not an excuse to fly-tip. We ask if you really need to get rid of that old sofa right now, or to throw out that old fridge, or get rid of the rubbish in your garage that you have cleared out over the weekend. Please keep hold of this waste a little longer, until we are through this difficult period of lockdown and until we can bring more services back on line.”
The warning comes as the council has issued 34 fly-tipping notes since lockdown measures came into force at the end of March – 98 per cent more than in the same period last year. Since the end of March, council waste collection crews have taken more than 100 tonnes of extra grey bin waste from households across the city. Residents can report fly-tipping on the MyStoke App or by calling 01782 234234.
Meanwhile #StokeonTrentTogether, a campaign between the council and voluntary sector organisation VAST, has made more than 11,400 proactive calls to support vulnerable people through the coronavirus outbreak. The campaign, is also operating a text service to contact vulnerable residents to see if they need support, and is expected to issue a further 8,700 text messages during this week. The city council has also written to 13,500 residents aged over 70 to provide them with support, information and signposting through the pandemic.
Smokers are being encouraged to use services to help them quit, during the coronavirus outbreak. The #quitforcovid initiative warns that smoking, and exposure to second-hand smoke, is likely to make the impact of the coronavirus worse.
Smoking increases the risk of lung infections, with smokers twice as likely to get pneumonia and five times more likely to get flu. The campaign advises that quitting smoking can decrease the risk of other health problems such as heart attack or stroke. Smokers who are self-isolating are encouraged to seek alternative methods such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy or e-cigarettes to help with cravings.
Free telephone support and stop smoking medication is available for residents through the stop smoking service. Residents can sign-up via the council’s website or calling the Living Well Hub on 0800 085 0928.
Meanwhile councillor Brown and Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, the authority’s director of adult social care, health, integration and wellbeing, will hold a Facebook Live at 4pm tomorrow (Tuesday, 21 April). The session, which will take place on the authority’s corporate Facebook channel, @SoTCityCouncil, will be the chance for residents to hear about how the council is responding to the coronavirus, receive an update on services that are running and support available, and to have their questions answered about council services. If residents have questions they would like to ask, they are encouraged to email them in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them on the council’s Facebook page @SoTCityCouncil.
For more information and advice on coronavirus (Covid-19) please visit Public Health England: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/ and the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
All residents are reminded about the critical importance of regular handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds. The significance of this action cannot be underestimated.
For more information on digital services, visit www.stoke.gov.uk, download the MyStoke App, or follow the city council’s social media channels.