Scottish Borders Council is asking for residents to play their part to assist its waste and recycling services during the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

The Council has prioritised its kerbside collections as an essential service for households but is issuing guidance to residents to help its crews during this challenging and unprecedented time.

Key information includes:

· Right waste in right bin – households are requested to ensure the right waste goes in the right bin – more information on what items should go in each bin is available at www.scotborders.gov.uk/millionsofreasons

· Squash your waste – residents asked to maximise space in their bins by squashing as much as possible.

· Excess general waste – if presented beside general waste kerbside bins it will not be collected. This is a long-term policy which is being regularly reviewed but the Council does not have capacity at this time to uplift additional general waste. The Council would ask households to think about the amount of waste they are producing and not start to present more than usual amounts at this time.

· Excess recycling waste – will continue to be collected in clear bags or as flat packed cardboard in line with our long-term policy. However, as a temporary measure during the Coronavirus response, we will now accept excess recycling in any secure, tied plastic bag (except black bags). Recycling presented in black bags will not be collected.

· Blue and recycling bag deliveries – The Council is working hard to complete the delivery of blue bags and recycling bags and expects all bag deliveries to be complete within the next two weeks. In the meantime:

Ø Blue bags can be replaced by a suitable alternative bag

Ø Recycling bags can be replaced by any secure, tied plastic bag (except black bags)

· Large bin requests – The Council is receiving a high volume of requests for larger bins. In line with its long–term policy, the Council will only issue larger bins in very specific circumstances such as large households or health reasons. The Council would request households consider the amount of waste they are generating or if they are using their waste services effectively before making a request.

· Community Recycling Centres – All Community Recycling Centres are currently closed following government guidance.

· Garden waste – While recycling centres are closed, households are asked to consider alternative ways of disposing of or keeping your garden waste until a future point. Options include composting at home, not uplift grass clippings or hold off on jobs which will produce large quantities of garden waste.

· Waste crews – householders are asked to maintain at least two metres distance from waste crews.

· Refuse vehicles – for health and safety reasons, householders should not approach any refuse vehicle or attempt to throw waste directly into the back of refuse vehicles.

A comprehensive set of Frequently Asked Questions has been developed at www.scotborders.gov.uk/coronavirus.

SBC’s Chief Executive Tracey Logan said: “Our waste crews have been working hard, and we have redeployed staff from other departments within the Council to help maintain our collection rate. Our crews have received a number of ‘thank you’ messages posted onto household bins from families currently at home, which is appreciated. We also thank residents who continue to present their waste in the correct manner but are asking that everyone play their part at this difficult time. In particular, we are asking households to put the right waste in the right bin and not present excess general waste – this will not only help our crews and service, but also the local environment with recycling benefitting all of our communities.”

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