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Garden waste collection service set to resume

By Alan Hendry

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Highland Council's garden waste collection service is to start up again from Monday, May 11, having been halted in March because of the coronavirus crisis.

Householders who have purchased a 2019/20 permit for the fortnightly collection of their garden waste are urged to check their calendars on the council’s website for their collection day.

Carron McDiarmid, chief executive officer for communities and place said: “It has been a challenge to deliver services during these exceptionally testing times and I’m very pleased to announce that the garden waste collection service can return to some normality.

"Your patience and understanding has been most appreciated while we have had to prioritise delivery of other essential services.”

Carron McDiarmid says householders' patience has been appreciated.
Carron McDiarmid says householders' patience has been appreciated.

She added: “The garden waste collection service was suspended on Monday, March 23, due to the impact of Covid-19 on staff resources. Highland Council is currently operating with a shortfall of approximately 30 to 40 per cent in waste operations staff and therefore priority was given to the collection of statutory household rubbish, recycling [blue bin] and food waste collections in Inverness.

"The staffing situation has now been reviewed and additional staff resources have been identified which now allows for the recommencement of the garden waste collection service.”

The chairman of the communities and place committee, Councillor Allan Henderson, said: “I look forward to the service starting up from May 11. Some people may not be sure which is their collection week, so I strongly urge permit holders to check their calendars on the council website and share this information with their immediate neighbours where possible.”

When the collections resume, there will have been three or four missed brown bin collections depending on the collection week. To compensate customers for these missed collections, the current collection permits will be extended by nine weeks beyond their current expiry date at the end of June. All current permits are now valid until the end of August 2020.

The brown bins must be presented with a valid permit and the bin lids fully closed. No extra side waste will be collected.

The garden waste collection service is for the recycling of grass cuttings, hedge trimmings, twigs and small branches, flowers, plants and weeds. Householders are asked to check the contents of their bin to ensure it contains no contamination.

To help reduce the spread of coronavirus, householders should regularly clean their bin handles and lids as well as washing their hands before and after touching their bins.

Crews are operating on safe distancing procedures due to the continuing threat of Covid-19. This may mean collections take longer to complete than usual so bins should be put out for 7am on the scheduled collection day.

The council also points out that collections may be suspended at short notice.

Details of the garden waste collection service can be found on the council website and enquiries can be emailed to recycle@highland.gov.uk

While garden waste collection will resume, all household waste recycling centres in the Highland Council area remain closed. The local authority says it is monitoring the situation closely.

Residents are being asked to act responsibly by not putting waste they may have taken to a recycling centre in their household bins as this may overwhelm collection services. In addition, householders are advised to avoid carrying out large DIY projects or spring cleans unless they have space to store the waste.

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