CORONAVIRUS: Maintaining refuse collections during outbreak

Published Tuesday, 31st March 2020

New measures have been introduced to ensure green and grey bins can continue to be emptied safely in Hartlepool, with additional vehicles being used to transport staff behind bin wagons.

The alternative working arrangements which aim to protect refuse collection staff from Coronavirus, are designed to follow Government rules on social distancing.

Social distancing is not possible if all staff travel together – as is usual – in a single bin wagon.

Hartlepool Borough Council has hired 11 vehicles which meet social distancing requirements, to cover the 11 daily Tuesday-Friday refuse collection rounds and these will begin operating from tomorrow (Wednesday April 1st).

The temporary use of other Council vehicles allowed services to continue today.

Local schools – High Tunstall, English Martyrs and St Hild’s – have also been supportive by offering the use of minibuses, although this has not proved necessary.

A number of local authority workers have been temporarily re-deployed from other jobs to drive the additional vehicles to ensure the continuation of refuse collection services.

Assistant Director (Environment and Neighbourhood Services) Tony Hanson said: “We have an on-going commitment to ensuring that all local authority staff are able to carry out their jobs safely.

“I would like to thank all staff, including those re-deployed to drive the additional vehicles, for their hard work and commitment to maintaining this vital frontline service.

“It is also important that we acknowledge the offer of support from schools. Although we ultimately didn’t need to use their vehicles, it was reassuring to know that we had the option should we have needed it. “