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Residents thank waste crews

Hardworking council waste crews are being thanked by residents across Lewes district in helping to keep the country going during the pandemic.

Household, recycling, clinical and garden waste collections are operating as normal in Lewes district while some neighbouring authorities have suspended their garden waste pick-ups.

The only current change is there are no bulky waste collections at this time for items such as kitchen appliances and furniture.

Councillor Julie Carr, the Co-operative Alliance's Cabinet Member for Recycling, Waste and Open Spaces, said: "We are very proud of our Environment First staff for their tireless work to keep frontline services in operation during this difficult time and it's great to know that our residents appreciate them too.

"From notes left on bins, to colourful posters on windows, shouts of thanks to crews and messages of support on social media, people are certainly showing their gratitude to our bin men."

With more people staying at home, the tonnage being collected is between 60% to 80% higher than usual at this time.

Various steps have been taken to ensure staff safety while maintaining services such as enforcing social distancing on rounds, sourcing stocks of PPE and sanitisers against a national backdrop of shortages and providing crews with them, supporting staff with specific needs such as those with children of school age or with underlying health conditions.

Councillor Carr added: "The Covid-19 crisis has thrown up many challenges, not least how to keep our waste services in operation and teams safe under increasing restrictions and shortages but we have overcome these issues through excellent management and staff co-operation.

"Our street cleansing crews have also responded to challenges with great gusto to ensure our communities and neighbourhoods are kept to the usual high standard of cleanliness. This is despite many of their number being redeployed to waste collection services to fill in for staff who are self-isolating.

"If we do need to make any changes to our waste collection services during this challenging period we will give people as much notice as possible."

Most refuse collections are a day later next week due to Easter. Check your revised collection days online at lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/bank-holiday-bins

Published Thursday 9 April 2020