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Brown bin collections to resume, as bulky waste collections start and tips set for restricted opening

Published: Wednesday, 13th May 2020

Brown bin garden waste collections are set to restart in Stoke-on-Trent from Monday (18 May), as bulky waste collections are resuming and two tip sites are ready to reopen with restricted access.

Brown bin garden waste collections are set to restart in Stoke-on-Trent from Monday (18 May), as bulky waste collections are resuming and the city’s two tip sites are ready to reopen with restricted access.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is reintroducing the services as part of a managed response to the coronavirus outbreak, and in line with national health and safety guidance.

The authority completed a two-week ‘sweep’ of brown bin collections last week, with crews visiting 3,024 streets right across the city and collecting a total of 1,842 tonnes of waste – the equivalent in weight of nearly 300 African elephants or 1,000 cars. During the same two-week period last year, crews collected 704 tonnes of garden waste. Collections were made by a 30-worker crew each day, and between them they covered an average of 300 streets a day. On VE Day last Friday (8 May), during the bank holiday, crews cleared 267 tonnes of brown bin waste; in normal circumstances, crews would collect 352 tonnes during the course of a full week.

Brown bin collections have now been scheduled to resume from 18 May, following usual collection patterns where possible, with households asked to put brown bins out with blue recycling bins.

Council leader Abi Brown said: “Our crews put in a herculean effort to clear brown bin collections across the city in just two weeks. I’m so proud of the teams for their hard work in the most testing of times, and from all of the ‘thank you’ messages and well wishes from residents, it is clear that households really appreciate all of their efforts.

“We have reviewed the collections in light of government guidance and the availability of our workers. I’m really pleased to announce that brown bin collections will resume, but ask that households continue to bear with us at this time. Our priorities remain to ensure we can keep grey domestic waste and blue recycling waste collections going – which we have done through all seven weeks of lockdown restrictions.

“We ask that residents wipe down their bin handles and ensure that they are presented for collection with the lid shut. If we are unable to collect the brown bin on your usual collection day, please leave it out and we will return.”

The council has restarted bulky waste collections from today (Wednesday) and has made 70 appointments for residents. Crews are able to collect items including fridges, freezers and furniture from households, with a £40 charge for five items. Collections can be booked online via www.stoke.gov.uk, or via 01782 234234.

Both of the city’s household waste and recycling centres will open again this week with stringent restrictions in place to maintain the health and safety of both staff and visitors. However, residents are urged to continue to hold on to their waste – or to use their normal bin collections as appropriate – and to consider carefully before they plan a trip to the sites. Lengthy queues are expected at the facilities and demand is anticipated to be high.

The Hanford household waste and recycling centre opens 8am-4pm from tomorrow (Thursday), with the site in Federation Road, Burslem, opening 8am-4pm from Friday (15 May). The sites will then operate on their usual days, with the Hanford facility open every day apart from Mondays and Tuesdays and the Burslem site open every day apart from Wednesdays and Thursdays. Residents are cautioned against turning up early to either site as it will prevent council workers from getting in.

Councillor Brown said: “We have moved quickly to plan to open both sites in a controlled way that will support households in the city, while following national guidelines to protect residents and our staff.

“As such, there are a number of restrictions in place, and we urge residents to carefully consider if they really need to make a trip to the tip – our advice is to please hold on to your waste if you can and to continue to use your grey, blue and brown bins wherever possible.

“We expect that there will be long wait times at the tip sites, so please do not make a trip unless you really have to. Visiting the sites will be very different than usual, and all restrictions in place must be observed.

The restrictions at the tip sites are:

  • Anyone who is self-isolating or has Covid-19 symptoms must not visit either site.  
  • If you have waste that you suspect or is contaminated with Covid-19 material, please ensure that is bagged twice and has been isolated for at least 72 hours before bringing it to the site.        
  • There will be a strict limit to the number of vehicles allowed on site at any one time.
  • Only one person will be permitted per vehicle. Where younger children can’t stay at home, they will be allowed to travel in but they must not get out of the car.       
  • Only cars will be admitted. No trailers or vans of any sort will be allowed. This will be continuously under review.           
  • Only bring items that you can safely load and unload yourself.       
  • Site staff will be unable to assist with unloading vehicles. Only one visit will be allowed per day, and registration numbers will be recorded.           
  • No trade or commercial waste will be accepted.      
  • Asbestos, oils and paints will not be accepted. They will need to be stored safely at home until we're able to safely process them. We will publicise when we are able to accept these materials.          
  • Visitors must respect the strict two-metre rule both from staff and other site users.            
  • Access will be by car only. Walking-in of waste will not be allowed.
  • Use of the sites is restricted to Stoke-on-Trent residents only.
  • Handheld devices will be passed into cars for payment, with PPE being used.       

 

Councillor Brown said: “There will be staff on the gates at the two sites to help you, keep you safe and make sure you can complete your trip in as quick a time as possible. Please listen and follow their instructions and remember the extra guidelines in place will cause significant delays, so please be patient. We estimate our sites will only take a small number of cars unloading at any one time, so around 20 cars per hour. Staff are working hard in difficult circumstances to open the sites and to keep them operating. Please treat our staff with respect; they will be following government and industry guidance on keeping you safe.”

Meanwhile, the council has today (Wednesday) reopened a number of green spaces, in line with national guidelines. Car parks are now open at Hanley Park, Westport Lake and Park Hall Country Park. Tennis courts in council-run parks are also now open again, as are fishing pools in council-maintained open spaces. Bowling greens open from tomorrow in Hanley Park, Tunstall Park, Longton Park and Burslem Park. Bowling clubs that do not have open access will remain closed while discussions begin with tenant bowling clubs around reopening. They include Northwood Park, Etruria Park, Bucknall Park and Lightwood Park. Outdoor gyms, football facilities, swimming pools and playgrounds remain closed. Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and soft play area facilities remain closed.

Councillor Brown added: “While the national rules on using parks have been relaxed, we urge all residents and visitors to our facilities to continue to follow social distancing guidelines and remain at least two metres apart from people who are not members of your own household. It is crucial that we all continue to follow the critical health and safety guidance and continue to be vigilant until we have beaten this horrible disease.”

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.