April 2020: Dealing with your waste during a crisis
Image caption: Local authorities are working hard to maintain waste and recycling services at this time. You can help by: regularly checking your local council's website for updates on changes to collections where you live; if self-isolating and feeling unwell. double-bag personal waste (such as tissues) and put aside for 72 hours before putting out for collection; for the latest information on COVID-19, please visit Public Health England website (opens in a new window).
Unless you have been living in a cave for the last month, you will be aware of the lockdown imposed on the country due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
This has caused all sorts of problems with local authorities, namely around refuse and recycling collections and in Worcestershire it has been no exception. The district councils have struggled with staff being off sick or self-isolating reducing the number of crews they are able to send out to collect waste. All of them have done marvellous jobs and nobody should be complaining about missed collections of their rubbish.
Unfortunately, the high number of people having to stay at home, the Easter Bank Holiday and the sunny weather has led to large amounts of DIY and garden projects as people now have the time to do them. But due to the closure of all the Household Recycling Centres in the county, there is nowhere to dispose of this extra waste.
Fortunately, Worcestershire hasn’t seen the increase in fly-tipping that other counties have, probably because the residents are heeding the advice of the County Council and keeping hold of their waste until the Household Recycling Centres re-open.
But what happens if you have got a DIY project you want to do, or you have been cutting back the bushes and mowing the lawn and now you have the waste to deal with?
DIY/shed clearance waste
This waste must be stored safely at home until the Household Recycling Centres re-open. However, this may be the time to see what your upcycling skills are like and repurpose some of those items you were planning on throwing away. Look online at sites like Pinterest (opens in a new window).
Leave your grass cuttings/garden waste in a pile in the corner of your garden. They will rot down naturally over the course of the summer.
Make a compost heap, which will keep the waste tidier than just a pile. There are various tutorials online on how to make one. Alternatively, you can purchase a compost bin via our subsidised scheme at the Get Composting website (opens in a new window). Bins start at £13.50 plus delivery. The advantage of the bins is they can take fruit/vegetable peelings, egg shells, tea bags and other organic kitchen waste and you end up with a nice compost after about 9-12 months.
If it is just grass cuttings, you can leave the cuttings on your lawn rather than collect up. They will rot down naturally and help keep the lawn moisture in during the warm weather.
Children can thank their bin crews and other key workers by colouring in drawings done by Droitwich artist Rosie Philpott. Colouring is very relaxing and helps a lot of people with anxiety, so it’s not just for children. Check out Rosie's Facebook page Rosie Philpott - Artist and Illustrator (opens in a new window) for more colouring ideas.
And please remember to wash your hands after your bin has been emptied – the crews handle up to 2000 bins a day.
Every month Worcestershire County Council's Waste Prevention Project Manager Emma Stuart will share her ideas, thoughts and tips about everything to do with waste to help you reduce the amount you throw away.