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Coronavirus impact on waste services in Essex


Monday 4 May 2020

15 recycling centres in Essex have reopened. Visiting these sites is only essential where there is no alternative available. Please expect long queues and delays. Make sure to check temporary site restrictions and opening hours before visiting.

How to get rid of waste if you are self-isolating or have Coronavirus

Any individuals asked to self-isolate, either as a precaution or because they are confirmed to have Coronavirus (COVID-19), should follow this advice to get rid of their household waste to ensure the virus is not spread via personal waste.

  • Individuals should place all personal waste such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, securely in a plastic bag or bin liner.
  • This plastic bag should then be placed in another plastic bag and securely tied.
  • These bags must be stored separately to other waste for at least 72 hours before being placed in the general rubbish collection.

After 72 hours outside the body the virus is no longer viable and the double bagged waste can be put in the general rubbish collection as normal. Only waste that is heavily contaminated, such as tissues that have been coughed in and cleaning cloths that have been heavily contaminated need to be treated in this way. Regular household recycling and waste should be treated as normal.

Changes to recycling and waste collections

Recycling and waste collections

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak and potential increases in staff sickness levels, some recycling and waste services may be impacted. This may result in general rubbish and food waste collections being prioritised and other services being suspended at short notice, such as garden or bulky waste collections.

After collecting your emptied bins or boxes from the kerbside, please ensure you wash your hands.

Changes to your collections

All local councils across Essex are working hard to minimise the impact on your recycling and waste collections and we appreciate your understanding if services do change.

You can keep up to date with your on waste and recycling services in Essex by following @loveessexuk on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or using the webpage pages below.

Basildon Borough Council

Braintree District Council - Garden waste collections to restart on a 4 week cycle from 18 May.

Brentwood Borough Council

Castle Point Council

Chelmsford City Council

Colchester Borough Council - Garden waste collections to restart on a fortnightly basis from 25 May. Dry recycling collections to be 4 weekly from 13 April. Textile collections are suspended.

Epping Forest District Council

Harlow Council

Maldon District Council

Rochford District Council

Tendring District Council

Uttlesford District Council - Garden waste collections restarted on 21 April.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council 

Ways to help your collection crews 

Recycling and waste collection crews are working hard on the frontline every day to ensure our bins, bags and boxes are collected.

There are a number of ways you can help support your collection crews:

  • Please maintain at least 2 meters and don’t approach collection crews
  • Please avoid putting out additional waste for collection. If every household puts out more waste than usual, the collection vehicles will fill up quicker. This could result in some households not having their waste collected, as well as placing additional strain on collection crews
  • Please continue to treat collection crews with respect
  • Please place your bins, boxes and bags at the kerbside ready for your collection
  • Please be mindful where you park your car on collection day. With more people at home, residential roads are busier with parked cars making it harder for collection vehicles to get through.

How to reduce your waste at home

To help reduce the amount of rubbish going in your waste collections, we’ve pulled together some handy tips and ideas to save items from the bin.  Find out how you can reduce your waste at home

Update on recycling centres

15 recycling centres in Essex have reopened. Only waste or recycling which cannot be stored at home without causing a health or safety risk will be accepted. You should only visit the site if absolutely necessary.

Social distancing measures and new site restrictions will be in place to ensure the safety of residents and site staff. This will include limiting the number of cars at any one time, so please be patient and expect long delays.

If you can hold onto your waste, please do so until the sites are fully operational. Alternatively, check out our hints and tips on how to your reduce household waste.

If you have garden waste to get rid of, you can always try home composting. It’s a great alternative and there are many ways to get started.

If you use a private company or contractor to dispose of your waste, please keep a safe distance apart from other people and ensure they will dispose of your waste responsibly.

Do not visit a recycling centre if you are shielding, self-isolating or showing any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). For more information please check the latest government guidance.

Find out more about waste and recycling

Recycling centre temporary restrictions

Ideas on how to reduce your household waste