Recycling collections – We are concentrating staff on essential services. We cannot immediately return for missed recycling collections

A dozen ways to help your crew help you get rid of waste

A dozen ways to help your crew help you get rid of waste

As we all stay home and create hundreds of tonnes of extra recycling each week, we can help hard-pressed collection crews cope, despite many of their colleagues self-isolating and so unable to work. In no particular order…

  • Reduce waste where you can. To cut food waste, lots of tips here: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/tackling-food-waste/ Tell internet retailers to cut back on excess packaging.
  • Reuse waste where you can. Revamp clothes or repair items – stay safe but lots of tutorials online – or store ready for lockdown’s end. If having a wardrobe clear-out, facemasks can be made easily from T-shirts etc without sewing. Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REtQwwRoxuY
  • Fold or tear up cardboard to fit in your recycling box. Larger pieces take up more space in the recycling trucks, wasting fuel and time on unloading trips. If safe, squash, flatten, crush everything except glass and aerosols. Sort and segregate materials without using carrier bags inside recycling boxes. Stack boxes with the locked food waste bin on top to stop materials being blown away.
  • For now, we cannot take orders for extra or replacement recycling containers as staff have been switched to core collections. Here’s how to hack it correctly, from boxes to bags: https://www.facebook.com/SomersetWaste/posts/2953509871351739
  • Bulky waste collections have been temporarily suspended, with staff redeployed to priority collections, and recycling sites are closed due to government advice on travel and keeping users safe. Store bulky items and other materials until services restart and sites reopen. Do not fall victim to fly-tipping criminals: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/fly-tipping/
  • Park with care so recycling and rubbish trucks can get through. If they have problems, fire engine and ambulances may well get blocked, too.
  • Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms themselves or in their family should double bag tissues, masks, gloves, and cleaning cloths, store them for 72 hours separately in their home and then put in their rubbish. Do not put tissues, masks, gloves or cleaning cloths in your recycling box.
  • Wash hands before you put out your wheeled bin, food waste bin and recycling boxes, and after you take them back in. Clean bin and box handles. Crews have gloves, washing facilities and hand sanitiser, but a wash is worth it to keep you and them safe.
  • Keep your distance. Stay at least two metres away from everyone, including the crews. But they really appreciate the public’s support – so a cheery smile and wave will make their day.
  • Check local bring banks for clothes, glass, cans, plastics and more at supermarkets and elsewhere to see if they could help deal with excess recycling while out during your daily exercise or going shopping.
  • With no garden waste collections, here’s our advice and useful links on composting, mulching and grow your own: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/home-composting/ Got a 2020-21 subscription? It will be extended for 12 months for the restart of collections. Please do not have bonfires; they cause pollution, upset neighbours and can damage people’s health, especially if household rubbish is added – more here: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/bonfires/
  • Finally, the obvious: do not put too much waste out. Make sure your rubbish fits in your wheeled bin and your recycling in the boxes and food waste bin. Store any excess until next time.

PS: Make a difference as a key worker in this crisis. For driver or loader vacancies, contact smilsom@smartsolutions.co.uk or call 07866 797200.

For frequent updates, follow @Somersetwaste on Facebook and Twitter. And for the latest information at https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/coronavirus/

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