The waste sector has been recognised by government as one of the “critical sectors” to the UK’s COVID-19 response.
Guidance published by the Department for Education set out what the UK needs to do as a country to as a country to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
It has set out clear guidance on self-isolation, household isolation and social distancing, and has stated that if parents or guardians work in one of the “critical sectors” and they cannot keep their child safe at home, then these children will be prioritised for “education provision”.
The waste sector has been included among these “critical sectors”, as well as health and social care, education, key public services, transport and public and national safety, among others.
If waste workers think they fall within the “critical” categories they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
If their child’s school is closed, they can contact their local authority, who will then seek to place their child in a local school where they can attend.
CIWM’s letter stated: “We call on the Government to ensure that waste collection and treatment workers are included on the list of essential key workers and that the waste management sector is classed as essential infrastructure as further Government-led planning on managing the impacts of Covid-19 is undertaken.”
Gov suspends bag charge for online deliveries
Government has also announced that it has suspended the single-use carrier bag charge for all grocery deliveries ordered online in England.
From 21 March 2020, shops will not have to charge for bags used in online grocery deliveries in England. However, they can continue to do so.
The change aims to speed up deliveries and reduce the risk of contamination.
This does not apply to single-use bags provided in store or for other types of online delivery.
Government said this is a “temporary measure” due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We expect these temporary measures to end on 21 September 2020,” it said.