It has been announced that food and garden waste collections across Milton Keynes will be suspended from Thursday (14/1) onwards due to staff shortages caused by covid.
Serco, Milton Keynes Council's waste contractor, has seen an increase of COVID-19 positive tests and staff requiring to isolate or shield.
It was announced yesterday that two of Serco's drivers based in Milton Keynes sadly died after testing positive for the virus.
In recent days, nearly 40% of the waste collections teams have been unavailable. Milton Keynes Council has since said that the food and garden waste collection has been suspended in order to "protect core services", meaning black and clear sack collection will continue.
"We appreciate this is an inconvenience to residents, and we are sorry for this, " a spokesperson for Milton Keynes Council said, "We will continue to do our best, with the support of our partners, to maintain services under difficult circumstances."
They continued: "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."
Milton Keynes Council has stated that the food and garden waste suspension will be reviewed weekly.
In the meantime, residents are asked to dispose of food waste into black bags and keep any green waste in your garden.
Milton Keynes’ tips remain open, although people are being asked to consider whether the journey is essential in lockdown.
It has been confirmed that 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.
The spokesperson concluded: "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."
To check your collection day please go to: https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/waste-recycling/collection-days