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COVID-19 Green Waste Collection Service FAQs

Garden Waste Collection Service resumes for two weeks only

Monday 11 May to Saturday 23 May 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the Garden Waste Collection service suspended?

On 23 March UK Government announced strict new measures around social-distancing to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

At this time employees of many businesses across the whole of the UK set up new workplaces at home or were able to access national financial support that would help them to comply with the new requirements and stay at home.

The Council - like other essential key services such as the NHS, blue light services, food distributors and suppliers - had to work quickly to introduce new working practices that would enable critical services to continue to operate, whilst at the same protecting the health and safety of its employees.

The new 2m social distancing rule, meant it was no longer possible for the same number of operatives to travel together in vehicle cabs.  For black bin and weekly recycling collection services to continue as normal it was necessary to introduce new 12 hour / 3 day on 3 day off shift patterns.  

To comply with worktime directives, more operatives were needed to cover the new black bin and recycling shift patterns.  The only way this could be achieved was by deploying crews from the Garden Waste Collection service to the black bin and recycling collection service.

Why do black bin and recycling collections take priority?

The Council has a legal duty to collect waste and recycling.

We do recognise the value of the Garden Waste Collection service for some Flintshire residents however there is no legal requirement for the Council to collect garden waste.  

In these current circumstances our priority has to be a continued uninterrupted black bin and recycling collection service.

Why are you only resuming collections for two weeks?

We recognise the concerns of Flintshire residents, particularly over the past few weeks of good weather when the grass has been growing and people have been out in their gardens.

Significant work has been undertaken to deploy operatives to the garden waste collection service for this two week period – but it is not sustainable.

Our priorities remain unchanged:

  • Compliance with social distancing guidelines
  • The health and safety of our employees
  • A continued uninterrupted black bin and recycling collection service

I've paid for the 2020 garden waste collection service, can I get a refund?

The full garden waste collection service will be resumed when current staffing pressures ease and crews can be depoyed back to the service.

When this happens we will provide a full year’s garden waste collection service – even if it rolls into next year.

In recognition of the households who have already paid for the 2020 service – we are looking at the option to make a reduced charge for 2021.  More information on this will be available shortly. 

Will you collect garden waste from all households who leave a brown bin out?

We will collect brown bins from all eligible households.

The criteria for collection is:

  • Households who paid for and received brown bin collections in 2019, and the bin is still displaying a valid 2019 sticker 

and/or

  • Households who have paid and subscribed for the 2020 service, and the bin is displaying a yellow 2020 tag or a valid payment reference number

Can I subscribe for the garden waste service now?

Subscriptions for the 2020 garden waste service are currently suspended.

If you hadn’t got round to subscribing for the 2020 collection service before the suspension -  but you paid for and received collections in 2019 – so long as your bin is still displaying a valid 2019 sticker your bin will be collected.

How will the crews know which bins to collect?

Eligible garden waste bins will need to display:

  • A 2020 yellow subscription tag 

or

  • A 2020 payment reference number

or

  • A 2019 subscription sticker

What day will you collect my garden waste?

We will collect your garden waste on your usual garden waste collection day.

That is the same day as your food and recycling is collected and the alternative week to your black bin collection.

You can check your usual collection day on our website www.flintshire.gov.uk/checkyourbinday  or by consulting your own waste calendar. 

How many collections will I receive over this two week period?

Eligible households will receive one garden waste collection during this two week period on their usual garden waste collection day.

To check your collection day go to www.flintshire.gov.uk/checkyourbinday or consult your own waste calendar. 

I can't fit all my garden waste in the brown bin, will you take side waste?

Unfortunately we are unable to collect brown bin side waste. The collection of side waste poses a health and safety risk for our employees when loading the vehicle.  

The steps that would be needed to minimise this risk would significantly reduce the volume of garden waste we would be able to collect and we don’t have the available resource to make multiple return trips.

Waste presented in the brown bin with the lid fully closed will be our priority for collection.
Please do not leave extra or fill your bin to overflowing, if you do we won’t be able to take it.

Will you come back for missed collections?

We are not able to offer a missed collection service for garden waste during this two week collection period.

To make sure your garden waste is collected, please ensure:

  • your brown bin is out by 7am on your scheduled collection day 
  • your brown bin only contains garden waste
  • the lid of your bin is fully closed

How can we help to keep the collection crews and ourselves safe?

You can help keep our collection crews safe by: 

  • cleaning the handles of your bin before and after it is put out for collection
  • washing your hands before and after touching your bin.

I usually take my garden waste to my local household recycling centre, what do I do with it while these remain closed?

We are pleased to announce that all five Household Recycling Centres in Flintshire will reopen on Tuesday, 26 May 2020. The centres will operate between 09.00hrs and 20.00hrs daily

Our advice to residents in the meantime is wherever possible:

  • Try not to generate any volume of waste that can’t be safely stored somewhere within the confines of your property
  • Try home composting – our website provides hints and tips on how to do this
  • Not to burn garden waste:
    • Garden fires can quickly become out of control and add pressure to the fire service if they are called to respond. 
    • Smoke from garden fires can make things worse for people who have breathing problems

When are you going to open the Household Recycling Centres again? (updated 15 May 2020)

We are pleased to announce that all five Household Recycling Centres in Flintshire will reopen on Tuesday, 26 May 2020. The centres will operate between 09.00hrs and 20.00hrs daily.

We have been keen to reopen our centres as they are so important to our public. All centres across Wales were closed in March because public travel to the centres - for recycling and waste disposal - was classed as non-essential travel under the emergency Government regulations.  

We have been working closely with Welsh Government on plans to re-open our sites, alongside all other councils in Wales, with a reopening target date for the end of May. Welsh Government has this week passed regulations to re-allow public transport to centres. This means that we can now ‘press go’ on our plans to re-open.  

Most councils will be reopening their centres around the same time. Some may be reopening earlier. We are not in a position to bring forward our target date as we have deployed the operational teams who work at the centres to help with the interim household garden collection service which is running this week and next week. 

Reopening the centres on a bank holiday weekend could lead to long queues to the frustration of customers and operators alike. By reopening on a Tuesday demand is more likely to be spread across the week - avoiding long queues which could spill onto the highway and lead to traffic congestion and the risk of traffic collisions.

Demand will be high in the first week and we call for everyone’s cooperation in avoiding making a trip in the first few days if they can.

The safety of the public and our workforce must be protected and the following safety controls will be in place at the centres:

  • full compliance with all health and safety regulations and government guidance;
  • the availability of appropriate sanitation stations for site users and operatives;
  • social distancing measures for customers and operatives with no assistance able to be given to customers to remove and carry materials from their vehicles;
  • traffic management and control systems with limited numbers of vehicles allowed in at a time.

Please be patient with these new controls and work with us to keep everyone safe.

We anticipate that demand for the service will be significant over the first few days of operation and the centres will need to be carefully managed to ensure the safety of our residents and employees. 

To help reduce the early demand at the centres we have resumed garden waste collections - for a two week period only from Monday 11 May to Saturday 23 May - for residents who subscribed to the service for either 2019 or 2020. More information about this one off collection can be found on the Garden Waste Collection page on our website. We plan to return to a more regular green waste collection service as soon as possible.

More information on accessing the centres will come out next week days. 

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