Help reduce waste to support collection services

The Coronavirus outbreak has changed the day-to-day make-up of many households, with more people at home and most children off school.

Among the many challenges this presents is an increase in the amount of domestic waste being produced, and that has a knock-on effect on a vital public service.

Many local authorities have had to scale back waste collection, but South Kesteven District Council is one of the few to have maintained a full household, recycling, garden, food and trade waste service.

As communities adjust to the upheaval, SKDC is appealing for residents to do what they can to reduce household waste and help protect collection services.

The Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations, Cllr Dr Peter Moseley, said: "It might seem like we are asking a lot by urging our residents to reduce what they put out for collection, but their help is vital in keeping the waste stream moving from us through to the recycling plants and elsewhere.

"So how can you reduce your waste when everyone is spending so much time at home and there are no meals out?

"They aren't going to work for everyone, but there are some simple things that are worth trying to help save money and reduce waste."

• Plan your meals. Menu planning can reduce waste and save money by making sure that you only buy and cook what you need. You may find that by using everything, you not only reduce food waste but also keep your plastic and food packaging waste to a minimum.

• Check packaging. Choose products that have recycled or recycleable packaging, or those that say you can return to store. When you go back the next time, take the packaging that can be returned to be disposed of.

• Use social media. If there is a local Facebook community forum, use it to swap, freecycle or upcycle items that you would normally take to the Household Waste Recycling Centre. Someone may well be more than happy to give your things a new life.

• Garden waste. Make your own free fertiliser by composting at home. If that is not practical, the council's affordable green waste scheme is currently 100% operational and is an easy option for disposing of garden waste.

• Spring cleaning. If you have to do a spring clean, please store your throw-away items until the HWRC is able to take them again. SKDC's bulky waste collection service is also available for large items.

SKDC has 20 waste freighters on the road every day from Monday to Friday, covering a district of approximately 365sq miles and emptying 80,000 bins a week.

Cllr Dr Peter Moseley said: "The more rubbish that is put out, the more freighter runs we have to make, putting both the crews and the public at greater risk.

"Hundreds of messages of support show how much residents value the work of our waste collection crews and that is very much appreciated.

"Alongside that we also need people to reduce, reuse or recycle their waste to help ease pressure on our collection services."