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Coronavirus & waste collections - FAQs

The coronavirus crisis is having an impact on services across East Northants, and below are some FAQs about our waste collections and how residents can help.

Q: What should I do to help?

A:  We are working hard to maintain your waste and recycling services at this time. Here are some top tips for how you can help:

  1. Regularly check the ENC website for updates on any changes to waste and recycling collections, including what can and can’t be recycled.
  2. Check whether your Household Waste and Recycling Centres are open before making an unnecessary journey
    Please note: HWRCs across Northamptonshire are due to re-open for essential visits on Monday 18 May, any further updates will be published on the Northamptonshire County Council website.
  3. Don’t stop recycling. With the global economy disrupted, it’s more important than ever to recycle your paper, card, plastic, cans and glass to ensure that valuable resources are recycled.
  4. Avoid having a big ‘clear-out’ while at home as this will only create more rubbish and recycling for our workers to collect. Please hold on to large items, such as furniture and mattresses, until the outbreak has subsided, and services return to normal.
  5. All charity shops are now closed so please do not leave donations on their doorsteps. But remember charity shops will be very grateful for donations once the crisis is over.
  6. Minimise the amount of rubbish, recycling and food waste you produce. Every bit we can reduce will make a real difference to maintaining a good collection service for everyone. Find tips for reducing food waste here, including how to store food correctly and using leftovers, making your food last longer and reducing the frequency you need to buy more food supplies.
  7. Please park your car responsibly. Many more people are at home, and parked cars may restrict access to bins for our collection crews, making their job more difficult and increasing the likelihood that bins cannot be emptied.
  8. Avoid burning waste at home, this creates air pollution that could harm people nearby who may already have breathing difficulties. There is also the danger that fires could get out of control. Fire services around the country are reporting an increase in callouts due to garden fires.
  9. When putting out your waste and recycling containers, there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re doing this as safely as possible:
  • If you’re self-isolating and feeling unwell, double-bag your personal waste (such as tissues) and put aside for at least 72 hours (3 days) before putting them out for collection.
  • Do not put tissues into your recycling as they cannot be recycled.
  • Disinfect your bin and caddy handles before and after you touch them.
  • Put out your bins and caddies out by 7am on collection day or after 6pm the evening before.
  • Keep your distance when our workers are collecting your waste and recycling.
  • Disinfect your bin and caddy handles again, before and after collection.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling and disinfecting your bins and caddies.
  • Put wipes, cloths, gloves, etc. used for cleaning your bins and caddies into your non-recyclable waste bin or bag, as these can’t be recycled.

Keep those in your household safe. Your collection staff are key workers, please keep them safe too.

For the latest information on COVID-19, please visit Public Health England: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Q:  What changes are you making to my waste and recycling collections?

A: At present, will collect your waste and recycling from your kerbside as usual, on your regular collection day.

Q. What changes do I need to make to the way I put out my waste and recycling?

A: Please continue to sort and recycle your waste as normal and visit our website for more information about what you can and can’t recycle.

Sorting and recycling your waste correctly is particularly crucial at this time, as it will limit the amount of time our workers must spend sorting any misplaced waste, which will prevent the spread of the virus.

Q: What shall I do with my garden waste?

A: If you have signed up to our garden waste collection scheme, our garden waste collection is currently running as usual. You should continue to put your garden waste into your brown lidded bin.

Q: What shall I do with my food waste?

A: Your food waste collection will continue as normal. You should continue to put your food waste into your food waste caddy.

Q: How may I order or collect more recycling bags/bins/boxes/caddies?

A: Click here to order a new bin or caddy but please be patient with us as we do our best to get these to you as soon as possible.

Usually, new silver food caddies can be collected from any of our offices, but unfortunately our offices are currently closed to the public. If possible, please can you place food waste directly into your larger green caddy and place out as usual.

Q. Can I book a bulky waste collection?

A. At present, bulky waste collections are running as normal and can be booked via our website.

Q. Can I visit my local Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC)?

A. No, all Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) are closed for social distancing reasons during this crisis, following instructions from the Government. Residents must stay home apart from essential journeys. Visiting your local HWRC is not considered an essential journey.

If you have items that you would like to take to your local HWRC to be recycled, please hold onto them until the sites re-open.

All updates on HWRCs will be published on the Northamptonshire County Council website.

Q. May I book an assisted collection?

A. If you are already registered for an assisted collection, your service will continue as normal. Leave your bins and caddies in the agreed location at your home.

If you haven’t already registered for an assisted collection, but would like to arrange this, please contact us.

If you live alone and are self-isolating, please follow the Government-set safety instructions for putting out your waste and recycling, under ‘What should I do to help?’ above.

For the latest health and wellbeing information on COVID-19, please visit Public Health England: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Q. Will the amount of Council Tax I pay lower due to the potential reduced collections service you’re providing at this time?

A. Your Council Tax will not change as a result of any changes to your recycling and waste collections during this crisis.

Q. I've had a missed collection – what shall I do?

A. Our crews are working hard to deliver our revised service during this crisis. Please bear with us at this time.

If you have had a missed collection, please complete the form on our website and we will try our best to assist.

Q: In future, what should I do with my recycling if it’s collected less frequently than my non-recyclable waste?

A: If your food waste, recycling collections (such as cardboard, paper, glass, plastics and cans), or garden waste collections become less frequent than your non-recyclable waste collection, do not place your recyclable items in with your non-recyclable waste. Instead, hold onto these recyclable items until your next recycling collections. Here are some tips on storing recyclable items safely until they can be collected from the Recycle Now website.

- Paper and card must be kept dry and away from heaters, ovens and naked flames so that it does not catch fire.

- Fold paper, flatten boxes and crush plastic bottles and other containers so that they take up less room. 

Q. Where can I get the latest information?

A. For the latest information about waste and recycling during the coronavirus outbreak, please visit this page. All updates will also be published on our social media channels.

For more general information about waste in East Northants, please visit our dedicated pages.