Residents across Lancashire who are self-isolating because of suspected coronavirus are being urged to follow new rules about how to dispose of their household rubbish.
Several of the county’s waste collection authorities have published the steps which should be taken to protect their own staff – and prevent further spread of the virus.
They are aimed at people in self-isolation because they are displaying coronavirus symptoms – a new, persistent cough and/or high temperature.
The measures are based on updated guidance issued by the government which affects how and – crucially – when rubbish is disposed of.
This is what residents are being told to do (based on guidance from South Ribble, Chorley and Wyre councils, which were amongst the first to publicise the new rules):
***Household waste must be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.
***The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied.
***No waste should be put in any bin less than three days before the bin is due to be collected.
***If you have a rubbish bag that needs to go in your bin less than three days before collection, please store it in a suitable and secure place until the bin has been collected. Then place the bag in the bin ready for the next collection.
***Do not store rubbish bags in communal areas or on the street. Once the household’s isolation has come to an end, waste collection can resume as normal.
***Do not take this waste to your local Household Waste and Recycling Centre.
***It is more important than ever to ensure that recycling is clean and dry and that rubbish bags are all securely tied to help prevent spills and protect collection teams and the public.
The measures are to ensure that if the virus is present on bin bags, there is sufficient time for it to die before the councils’ waste teams handle it. It is thought that coronavirus can live on some surfaces for around 48 hours.
Cllr Adrian Lowe, Chorley Council’s cabinet member for streetscene services, said: “These new measures are vital to ensure that we can all do what we can to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19.
“We understand that making changes to the way you handle your household waste while in isolation will be challenging, especially when you are already faced with other day-to-day challenges that isolation brings.
“We’re doing this to make sure that we can continue our waste service and that our workforce can be protected. We thank you all for your understanding and co-operation.”
Cllr Susan Jones, South Ribble’s cabinet member for environment said, “This truly is an unprecedented situation that we find ourselves in.
“We’re doing all we can to make sure our waste service is maintained through this difficult time – however, to do this, we must as a priority care for the welfare of our staff.
“We really need resident’s support to be able to achieve this and we are urging all households who are self-isolating or individuals who are experiencing symptoms to take these measures on board.
“We understand this is a difficult situation and storing your rubbish at times will not be ideal. Please have in mind that these measures are being taken in order to maintain the welfare of our staff and community and is helping to delay the spread of this virus,” Cllr Jones said.
The authority stressed that bin collections are continuing as normal and asked residents to check the council’s website for collection dates.
For more advice on self-isolation, click here
For details of social distancing measures, click here