Milton Keynes Council have confirmed they will be suspending food and garden waste collections after positive cases among staff.
The council confirmed the measure is taking place due to reduced staffing, with collections throughout MK suspended from Thursday 14 January until further notice.
MK Council have confirmed that their waste collection partner Serco has seen an increase of COVID-19 positive tests and has lead to staff requiring to isolate or shield. In recent days, nearly 40% of their waste collections team have been unavailable, with the measures being taken in order to protect core services and prioritise collection of black and clear sacks.
In their statement, the council continued, “We appreciate this is an inconvenience to residents, and we are sorry for this. We will continue to do our best, with the support of our partners, to maintain services under difficult circumstances.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious situation. As well as ensuring that protective measures are followed, we have arranged access for front line crew members to have rapid COVID-19 tests (with results known within an hour) to identify people who have the virus with no symptoms. Around one in three people with COVID-19 have no symptoms. These people can then isolate and break the chain of transmission.
“The Food and Garden Waste suspension will be reviewed weekly and we will look to give as much notice as possible when the service restarts.”
In the meantime, MK Council have requested people dispose of food waste into black bags and keep any green waste in your garden. MK’s tips remain open, although residents are asked to consider whether any journey is essential, in light of the national lockdown.
Black bag waste and clear recycling sacks will continue to be collected on regular collection days. The waste collection pilot remains unaffected at this stage.
MK Council added, “We’re doing everything that we can to continue to provide essential services in these extreme circumstances and we thank you for continuing to support our crews as front line key workers.”
Collection days are available at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/waste-recycling/collection-days