Torbay waste and recycling collections are expected to return to normal from tomorrow after some disruption last week due to a confirmed Covid-19 case within the SWISCo waste and recycling team and a significant number of staff needing to self-isolate.
Last week, due to a reduced number of staff, residents were asked to only put out food and residual non-recyclable (black wheelie bin) waste, and to store recycling in their usual place until it could be collected.
From tomorrow (Monday, November 2), residents will be able to present all of their waste including all recycling on their normal collection day.
As there will be large amounts of recycling to collect, there may be some delays to collections, so Torbay Council is asking residents to please bear with SWISCo and they will catch up as soon as possible.
In order to speed up collections, residents are being asked to stack recycling boxes to limit any materials blowing away.
Councillor Steve Darling, leader of Torbay Council, said: “We apologise to residents for the disruption to services but it is essential that both staff and residents are kept safe so as we previously stated, it has been necessary for a number of SWISCo staff to self-isolate following a confirmed Covid case within the team.
“We sincerely hope to be able to have the full service up and running again on Monday, November 2, but there may still be some initial delays while we catch up.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their patience, understanding and well-being wishes over the last week.”
Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet member for infrastructure, environment and culture for Torbay Council, said: “We appreciate it’s frustrating for residents that we have been unable to collect their recycling this week but we will catch up as soon as possible.
“Please try to present your dry recycling in the normal boxes if possible as the crews cannot easily sort through additional plastic bags. Crush plastic bottles by treading on them as this will free up additional volume in your box and flatten all cardboard please.
“We would like to reassure our residents that we have robust arrangements in place to protect the public. We have been operating a bubble system to help limit the amount of colleagues that staff come into contact with, promoted good hygiene, social distancing and face covering practices throughout the organisation.
“All collection crews use inner and outer gloves when collecting waste and touching waste containers. In this situation, a member of staff had social contact outside of these Covid-19 work practices.
“We will continue to keep residents updated about any impact on services as and when we have more information. Please do not contact the call centre unless your issue is really urgent.”
Dr Caroline Dimond, director of public healh, said: “Covid-19 infections in Torbay have been rising and this is another reminder that no person or setting is immune from getting this virus.
“All age groups are affected and we all need to play our part and carefully follow the government’s guidance on how to minimise the risk of spreading it further.
“This means social distancing and wearing face coverings where required, limiting social contact and abiding by the rule of 6, and of course continuing to wash your hands regularly.
“We all need to think Covid. If you think that you may have come into contact with someone with Covid-19, you should self-isolate for 14 days. If you are feeling unwell, you should self-isolate and call 119 or book a test online.”
Currently the recycling centre is open as normal, as is the commercial weighbridge at Tor Park Road, Paignton.