Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Tauranga and Western Bay's food scraps and glass collection suspended

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Tauranga and Western Bay's food scraps and glass collection suspended

Food scraps and glass recycling collections are still on pause for Tauranga and Western Bay residents following the Government’s extension of alert level 4 until Tuesday.

The collection of these bins involved manual handling by the operators which posed a health risk to the drivers and the community, the councils have said.

Tauranga City Council’s environmental regulation manager Sam Fellows said the safety of the community and drivers was the council’s priority.

“Once again Tauranga has shown how it is able to adapt to the life in lockdown. We would like to thank everyone for understanding that we are doing the best we can to collect their waste and recycling, while also keeping our staff and community safe.”

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Tauranga and Western Bay's food scraps and glass collection suspended

Western Bay council encouraged residents to freeze their food scraps if they were able to. Photo / George Novak

Fellows encouraged residents to hold on to food scraps and glass recycling until the next collection.

If that was not possible, they could both go into the red-lid rubbish bin, he said.

Fellows said glass should only be placed in the red-lid bin as a last resort as it would be sent to a landfill. If the rubbish bin was too full, glass could be put in the yellow-lid bin, but it would not be recycled.

Other collections will continue to take place.

The council said it could not provide the bin assistance service due to the level of manual handling required but if residents could get the bins out on their collection day they would be picked up.

The Te Maunga Transfer Station remains closed to the public.

Deliveries of additional or replacement bins are on hold for the next few days.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council said in level 4 the red rubbish bin and yellow mixed recycling bin would still be collected on residents’ normal collection days on August 23 and 24.

Pay-as-you-throw tags must be attached to the red lid rubbish bin for collection.

A modified assisted service would be provided from Monday, and the council had already contacted those residents scheduled for an assisted service on that day.

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Tauranga and Western Bay's food scraps and glass collection suspended

The red rubbish bins and yellow recycling bins will be collected as normal. Photo / George Novak

Council’s chief executive officer John Holyoake thanked everyone for their patience and understanding over the last three days with disruption to some services.

“We’re committed to maintaining essential services to the district while supporting the health and wellbeing of the community and staff in response to COVID-19.

“I also want to thank our Council staff, and contractors, who have been working hard to keep these essential services up and running.”

Many other council services would continue to operate online or via phone and email.

Western Bay council acting group manager infrastructure services Kerrie Little earlier said it was not safe to collect glass and food under alert levels 3 and 4.

In the meantime, the council encouraged householders to hold their glass and mixed recycling until it could be emptied and sorted safely.

Food scraps could be frozen, she said.

People who needed to empty their food scraps should put them in the red-lid bin. Glass could be placed in the yellow-lid bin.

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