Rotherham Council is temporarily pausing its garden waste collection service from Monday 26 July due to the increase of COVID-19 cases and isolations.
Unfortunately, as the number of COVID-19 cases rises in Rotherham, around 40% of staff members in the waste team are currently off ill or are having to self-isolate in line with Government guidelines. As a result, the Council has made the difficult decision to pause the garden waste collection.
The Council has attempted to find temporary staff to cover these absences, however a national shortage of HGV drivers has made this difficult.
The suspension of the service is for an initial two week period, which will be reviewed during this time. This will allow the waste team to prioritise general waste and recycling collections. The Garden Waste service will resume when staffing levels return to a sustainable level.
They are following similar plans as neighbouring authorities in Sheffield, Barnsley and Doncaster who have already made the decision to pause their garden waste services earlier this week.
Assistant Director of Community Safety and Street Scene, Tom Smith, said: “Sadly, so that we can continue to provide general waste and recycling collections, we have been left with no alternative other than to suspend our garden waste service.
“Staff absences this week due to illness and isolation in line with Government guidelines has reached a higher level than it has at any other time during the pandemic.
“We’d like thank garden waste service customers for their patience and understanding and pay tribute to our staff, who are working extremely hard to keep services going during this very difficult time.
“We hope to get the service back up-and-running as soon as we can and will keep those residents who have signed up to the service informed.”