This South London borough will have free bin collections after Covid staffing disaster

Residents in Richmond will be getting five free months of garden waste collections as compensation for cancelled collections due to crew shortages.

Collections for garden waste have been suspended since July 17 and returned August 16 due to shortages of bin men who were caught up in the ‘pingdemic’ and told to self isolate by an NHS app.

As of August 16, fully vaccinated people who come into contact with positive coronavirus cases no longer have to isolate. This has lead to fewer staff shortages.

Richmond Council suspended garden waste collections due to staffing levels in July.

The council’s compensation means existing subscription holders will be given free collections up to March 31, 2022.

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Cllr Julia Neden-Watts, chair of the environment, sustainability, culture and sports committee said: “The service is now back up and running.

“Since the government changed the self-isolation rules for fully vaccinated people, we have seen a positive impact on the availability of collection crew.

“I am grateful for the patience and understanding shown by residents while the service was suspended and I am pleased we have been able to come up with this solution.”

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