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Suspended garden waste collections in Christchurch blamed on 'pingdemic'

STAFF shortages are being blamed on the "pingdemic" of Covid-19 alerts by BCP Council, which has now suspended garden waste collection in Christchurch.

BCP Council said that unless it stopped the operation, which also affects people in Bournemouth and Poole, normal rubbish collections would have been at risk, due to the number of staff being alerted by the NHS Test and Trace system.

Workers are now being diverted to ensure recycling and household rubbish is still dealt with.

Garden waste collection has been temporarilty stopped by BCP Council (49592519)
Garden waste collection has been temporarilty stopped by BCP Council (49592519)

The suspension came into effect on Monday but BCP Council said it would be reviewed weekly.

As reported in the A&T, New Forest District Council also suspended its garden waste service last week, for at least a month.

Kate Langdown, the council's director for environment, said: “Unfortunately the extent to which staff have had to self-isolate has reached such proportions that we, along with many other councils in the country, are now at the point we have had no choice but to take action and suspend non-essential green waste collection services.

“There is a national shortage of LGV drivers nationally and councils are competing with the private sector including supermarkets to find extra staff at this time.

“We have been doing catch-up collections in recent days to deal with the estimated 200 tonnes of green waste still outstanding, but it is no longer possible to maintain this.”

She said the decision to stop the garden waste collections had “not been taken lightly” and apologised for the “inconvenience”.

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