Waste collection wagons keep on rolling

Messages of support have been pouring in for waste collection crews who are continuing to provide an essential service in the face of unprecedented challenges brought about by the Coronavirus outbreak.

Thanks to the dedication of its staff, South Kesteven District Council's waste collection services - vital in the battle to reduce risks to public health - are being maintained.

Crews emptying black, silver and green bins have been boosted by public support shown through social media messages, notes left on bins and cheerful waves as they go about their business.

Residents are also being asked to do what they can to help by reducing the amount of household waste.

SKDC Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations, Cllr Dr Peter Moseley, said: "Our waste collection team is doing incredible work under extreme circumstances. They deserve all our thanks for ensuring this vital service continues.

"Many people are spending much more time at home than they would normally and could be tempted to embark on spring cleaning or having a clear-out, but we are appealing to people to please think twice before putting unwanted or reusable items into their bins."

Cllr Dr Moseley said although recycling side waste was being accepted, pressure on the service means extra bags left out with black bins were not.

"Are you putting waste in the black bin that can be recycled?" he said. "It's really important at this time to make sure we are making the most of the two separate waste collections."

Other steps to minimise waste include:

• Holding on to old household items, DIY materials, clothes and toys for the time being;

• Reducing food waste - don't buy or cook more than you need, store or freeze left-overs;

• Using a home composting bin to dispose of as much vegetable and garden waste as possible;

• If it is going in the bin, crush it down as small as possible.

Cllr Dr Moseley said: "Creating less waste is the aim. If you are throwing something away, ask if it can be recycled. Reusing it for something else would be even better."

SKDC collection crews are taking every precaution they can when it comes to personal and public safety by wearing protective gloves and clothing. In addition, residents are asked to wash their hands and wipe down the handles before moving their bins.

"At present there is no change in the way we collect and empty bins and we are working hard to maintain this essential public service," said Cllr Dr Moseley.

"We have to accept, however, that this could change, and we may need public support to enable us to collect the bins on a different day or at a different time.

"Although we are redeploying staff to maintain the service there may come a time when we don't have enough, through their own illness or the need to self-isolate, to fulfil all our collections and duties. If we reach that point, we will update customers as soon as possible."

Cllr Dr Moseley has previously completed the training and has volunteered to join a waste collection crew should he be needed. "I am ready to step up," he said. This is about everybody doing their bit."

A tiny selection from the hundreds of public messages of support for SKDC bin crews:

"Would like to say thank you for keeping all services going and especially to the bin crews. Bin collections are very important and want to send them all thanks for what they are doing."

"Please thank all the refuse collectors for helping us all."

"Please thank your wonderful refuse collection staff for continuing to keep us rubbish-free."

"They are doing a fantastic job."

Why not build a bug hotel?

Families facing the likelihood of weeks in lockdown are taking up the challenge of keeping youngsters in the household engaged and happy.

There are lots of ideas online, many of them combining eco-friendly themes of recycling and reusing.

One project likely to appeal is building a bug hotel to provide a safe place where insects and other small creatures can shelter.

Oscar Moseley (10) and his sister Rosalind (5) have used materials including bits of bark and old roof tiles to make one at their home in Rippingale. They plan to enter it in a competition to find the best one in the village.

Their father, SKDC's Cabinet member for Commercial and Operations, Cllr Dr Peter Moseley, said: "This is a difficult time for everyone, not least families, and building a bug hotel is just one of the great ideas out there that can help keep youngsters entertained."

• One of the simplest household items children can upcycle, rather than recycle, is the humble egg carton. Without doing anything to them at all they can be used as trinket holders or seed trays. Alternatively, children can get creative, add a splash of paint and make their own toys.

Oscar Moseley (10) and his sister Rosalind (5) with their bug hotel

Bug hotel

 

Cllr Dr Peter Moseley recycles

Cllr Dr Moseley recycles

 

SKDC Waste fleet

Waste fleet