Garden Waste Collection Service- resuming normal service from May 11

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The Highland Council says its Garden Waste Collection Service will resume from Monday, May 11.

Householders who have purchased a 2019/20 permit for the fortnightly collection of their garden waste are urged to check their calendars on the council’s website for their collection day.

Carron McDiarmid, Chief Executive Officer, Communities and Place, explained: ‘It has been a challenge to deliver services during these exceptionally testing times and I’m very pleased to announce that the Garden Waste Collection Service can return to some normality.

‘Your patience and understanding has been most appreciated whilst we have had to prioritise delivery of other essential services.’

She continued: ‘The Garden Waste Collection Service was suspended on Monday, March 23, due to the impact of COVID-19 on staff resources. The Highland Council is currently operating with a shortfall of approximately 30% – 40% in waste operations staff and therefore priority was given to the collection of statutory household rubbish (green bin), recycling (blue bin) and food waste collections in Inverness.

‘The staffing situation has now been reviewed and additional staff resources have been identified which now allows for the recommencement of the Garden Waste Collection Service.’

Chair of the Communities and Place Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson, added: ‘Arrangements we able to be finalised yesterday so I look forward to the service starting up from Monday, May 11.

Some people may not be sure which is their collection week, so I strongly urge permit holders to check their calendars on The Highland Council website and share this information with their immediate neighbours where possible.’

When the collections resume on May 11, there will have been three to four missed brown bin collections depending on the collection week.

To compensate customers for these missed collections, the current collection permits will be extended by a period of nine weeks beyond their current expiry date at the end of June. All current permits are now valid until the end of August, 2020.

The brown bins must be presented with a valid permit and the bin lids fully closed, and no extra side waste will be collected.

As a reminder, the Garden Waste Collection Service is for the recycling of the following from your garden: grass cuttings, hedge trimmings, twigs and small branches, flowers, plants and weeds.

Customers are asked to check the contents of their bin to ensure it contains no contamination.  To help reduce the spread of coronavirus the public should regularly clean their bin handles and lids as well as washing their hands before and after touching their bins.

Crews are operating on safe distancing procedures due to the continuing threat of COVID-19. This may mean collections take longer to complete than usual so please put your bin out for 7am on your scheduled collection day.

Collections may also be suspended at short notice if there are further circumstances outwith council control and customers are advised to regularly check the Council’s website for updates.

Details of the Garden Waste Collection Service can be found here: www.highland.gov.uk/gardenwaste

All enquiries please e-mail recycle@highland.gov.uk

While Garden Waste collection will resume the public is reminded that all Highland Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) remain closed due to the Government’s decision to restrict all but non-essential movement.

The council says it is closely monitoring the situation across the country and as soon as it is permittable, the sites will be re-opened.

Residents are being asked to act responsibly by not putting waste you may have taken to a HWRC in household bins as it may overwhelm collection services.

In addition, householders are advised to avoid carrying out large DIY projects or spring cleans unless they have space to store the waste.