East Devon District Council has issued guidance to householders on what to do with their waste if a household is affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The council says that if a household is affected by the Coronavirus, any waste materials that anyone in that household comes in contact with need to be “handled carefully” before they are collected to help prevent further spread of the virus.
It’s asking residents to please ensure they adhere to the following:
- All contaminated items produced, including tissues, cleaning cloths and wipes and masks, need to be put into a plastic bag. Tie the top of the bag to prevent escape of the material
- Put the bag inside another bin liner and tie the top of the bag.
- Keep the bagged waste for a period of 72 hours in a place that cannot be accessed by other people or pets.
- Put the bag in your wheeled waste bin (or gull sack if you use one) for safe collection by our crew. The bagged waste must be contained in your wheeled bin and the bin put out in your normal collection point. Do not put the bag on the kerb-side where people could have contact with it.
- If you have an assisted collection, bag the waste as described above, and put it out in your usual assisted collection point in your wheeled bin or gull sack.
The council guidance mirrors advice issued by Defra, which states waste from possible cases and cleaning of areas where possible cases have been (including disposable cloths, tissues) should 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,” it states. “It should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known.
Waste should NOT be left unsupervised awaiting collection. You should NOT put your waste in communal waste areas until negative test results are known, or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours
“Waste should NOT be left unsupervised awaiting collection. You should NOT put your waste in communal waste areas until negative test results are known, or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.
“If the individual test is negative, this can be put in with the normal waste. If the individual tests positive, then store it for at least 72 hours and put in with the normal waste.
“If storage for at least 72 hours is not appropriate, arrange for collection as a Category B infectious waste either by your local waste collection authority if they currently collect your waste or otherwise by a specialist clinical waste contractor. They will supply you with orange clinical waste bags for you to place your bags into so the waste can be sent for appropriate treatment.”
The guidance comes as councils put together contingency plans in an attempt to counter the outbreak, which may affect some services.
BBC News reported yesterday (18 March) that refuse collections and other council services in Wales “may be reduced” during the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Morgan, who is also leader in Rhondda Cynon Taf, said the 22 county and county borough councils would keep the matter under review “based on latest developments”.
He suggested bin collections may go from fortnightly to monthly, with collections of waste food and used nappies a priority.
This morning, the local government association for Greater London, London Councils, said boroughs are “committed” to supporting Londoners during the pandemic, including in waste and recycling collections.
A spokesperson from the organisation said: “Avoiding contamination of recycling with other substances is now more important than ever, as it will enable our waste operatives to do their jobs safely, as well as making it possible for your recycling to eventually be re-used elsewhere.”