Residual, recycling and clinical waste collections are all “continuing to operate normally to date in most places”, according to the first results of the ADEPT survey.
The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT), called on local authorities across England to complete a regular online survey on the impact of Covid-19 on waste services.
Although there has been disruption to some waste collections, it’s business as usual for the vast majority of councils as they continue to provide a key and visible service which residents and businesses rely on, while ensuring the safety of their workforces
Responding to a request from Defra, ADEPT has led industry sector networks including the Local Authority Recycling Advisory committee (LARAC), the Local Government Association (LGA) and the National Association of Waste Disposal Officers (NAWDO) in creating the survey to gather for intelligence on the impact of waste services.
A summary of the first results have now been published, showing:
- Residual, recycling and clinical waste collections are all continuing to operate normally to date in most places.
- Food waste collections have seen some disruption in some places, but most authorities are still operating normally.
- Garden and bulky waste collection services are experiencing higher levels of service disruption and suspension.
- Street sweeping and litter services are not operating normally in most places, 80% of authorities are reporting disruption and some suspensions.
- Energy from Waste plants and landfill sites are continuing to operate normally.
- Most Waste Disposal Authorities (WDAs) have closed their Household Waste Recycling Centres for the time being.
- Other waste treatment services have been disrupted to a greater or lesser extent, and withdrawn in some place.
The survey shows that 85% of councils are still able to provide normal collection services for general domestic waste and 75% are maintaining their normal recycling services despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Cllr David Renard, Environment spokesman for the Local Government Association, said the results are “testament to the sterling work of refuse workers rising to the challenge during the coronavirus crisis”.
He said: “Although there has been disruption to some waste collections, it’s business as usual for the vast majority of councils as they continue to provide a key and visible service which residents and businesses rely on, while ensuring the safety of their workforces.
“Most councils have closed household waste and recycling centres for safety reasons, including to enforce social distancing, with staff redeployed to ensure the continuity of other waste service areas.
“There is no need for people and businesses to burn garden waste – composting or recycling it where possible is better for the environment.
“Burning household waste is an offence and liable to prosecution, while fly-tipping is never acceptable and services will be restored once it is safe to do.”