Weekly bin collections are back as staff return from COVID isolations
Weekly household waste collections will return to the Borough from tomorrow (July 27) but green waste collections will remain suspended.
The Council made a temporary switch to fortnightly collections last week after Government rules left more than a third of its bin crews workforce in self-isolation.
But staff numbers have since stabilised and enough staff have now completed their isolation periods to enable a return to weekly household waste collections.
Council Leader, Councillor Bob Cook, said: "We're very sorry we had to make these changes at such short notice last week and I'd like to thank people for their patience and understanding throughout.
"At the time of last week's announcement we were losing staff day on day and so we put out a revised collection schedule that would get us through the coming month, and that would give people as much notice as possible if that trend continued.
"Fortunately, the numbers having to isolate have eased off and we now have a number of staff back and ready for work.
"Though we can restore weekly household waste collections from tomorrow, I'm sorry to say we aren't yet in a position to restore green waste collections. They remain suspended but we will keep people updated.
"This is the first interruption we've had to our weekly bin collection service since the start of the pandemic and I'd like to thank people for all the support they've shown our bin crews, who have worked tirelessly throughout."
Can I leave out extra bags alongside my green wheelie bin this week?
If you are in Red Week and did not receive a household waste collection last week, we will take "side waste" for this coming week only and will return to our usual approach of not taking "side waste" once this week is over.
The waste will need to be bagged up and left next to your bin.
We will not collect "side waste" in areas that did get a household waste collection last week.
Are bin crews staff now exempt from isolating?
The process for securing Government permission to release staff in "critical services" from self-isolation for the purpose of undertaking critical work is still unclear.
The circumstances in which permission would be granted are also unclear, with the Government saying exemptions will only apply in a "small number of situations".
The Local Government Association is seeking urgent guidance on this from the Government on behalf of local authorities across the country.
Can I order extra recycling bags/boxes?
Yes, you can collect these free of charge (while stocks last) from Billingham, Stockton and Thornaby Central Libraries.
We've had a lot of requests for additional recycling equipment so have made a temporary change to remove the requirement to pre-book.
We are also providing local pick-up points throughout this week where you can get free blue recycling boxes and white recycling bags, while stocks last.
Green waste bags will also be available to buy at these pick-up points, though green waste collections do remain suspended for now.
There was a pick-up point at Billingham Market earlier today - the remainder are as follows:
- Tuesday, July 27, Norton (car park next to Costa), 9am to 1pm
- Wednesday, July 28, Stockton Market, 9am to 1pm
- Thursday, July 29, Thornaby Market, 9am to 1pm
- Friday, July 30, Yarm High Street (near the Town Hall), 9am to 12noon
- Friday, July 30, IB Leisure car park, 1pm to 3pm