All food and garden waste collections suspended from Monday in Milton Keynes
Green bins will not be collected due to crippling staff shortages
The food and Garden waste service will be paused all over MK from Monday due to staff shortages.
As many as 28% of workers at waste contractors Serco are off ill or self-isolating with Covid and tonight the council has made the difficult decision to suspend services until further notice.
Black sack waste and recycling will still be collected on normal collection days.
An MK Council spokesman said: "Covid-19 continues to have a significant impact on us all. In Milton Keynes Covid-19 rates are high, with 255 new cases reported on a single day last week. Like many other councils and organisations we’re experiencing reduced staffing due to illness and isolation, as much as 28% in the waste team in recent days.
"Despite putting contingency measures into action to limit the pressure on services, losing high numbers of staff puts the continuity of essential services at risk. This is especially the case in areas where obtaining cover is already difficult, due to a national skills shortage of HGV drivers for instance.
"Therefore in order to prioritise residual black sack waste and recycling collections we have taken the difficult decision to suspend all food and garden waste collections in MK from Monday 26 July until further notice."
The spokesman added: "We appreciate this is an inconvenience to residents. We’re doing everything that we can, with the support of our partner Serco, to maintain essential services as far as possible in these extreme circumstances and we thank you for continuing to support our crews.
"We hope to have the food and garden waste services restarted quickly and we will provide regular updates, giving as much notice as possible when the service restarts.
"In the meantime, please dispose of food waste into black bags and keep any green waste in your garden. MK’s tips remain open, which you can book in advance at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/hwrc Black bag waste and clear recycling sacks will continue to be collected on your regular collection days."
To check your collection day please visit www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/waste-recycling.
MK Council has asked people to help by sharing this important information with their friends, family and neighbours and those without access to the internet.