Defra publishes coronavirus waste services guide

Written by: Maddie Ballard | Published:
Defra's coronavirus guide ranks 14 waste services by priority

Defra has issued a guide for English local authorities and other waste collectors on prioritising their waste collection services during the coronavirus outbreak.

The non-statutory guidance document has been developed with advice from local authorities and the waste industry.

To assist authorities who will have to reduce services, it ranks 14 waste services by priority.

Residual ‘black bag’ waste collections, food waste, and care home waste are among the services ranked as high priority, meaning they should not be disrupted.

Fly-tipping is also ranked as high priority, as is the removal of clinical and absorbent hygiene wastes.

Services considered medium priority include household waste recycling centres and fortnightly dry recyclables collections.

Garden waste, bulky waste, and weekly dry recyclables are among those classified as low priority collections, meaning their disruption will have minimal impact

Overall, the guide notes that “the first duty of any local authority is to protect the health of staff and residents and it is with this in mind that the recommendations in this guide have been made.

“Circumstances vary from local authority to local authority and some of the recommendations may not be appropriate for some local authorities.

“Many local authorities already have contingency plans which they are now implementing and these should be taken into account in service planning.

“This guidance is intended as temporary and government is monitoring developments on waste services provision with local authorities and the waste sector.

“Local authorities are encouraged to maintain services as much as possible.”

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