Update on waste services for West Berkshire during the Coronavirus pandemic
West Berkshire Council is working with its waste contractor, Veolia, to ensure that essential collections can be delivered for as long as is practical during this unprecedented time. Both Veolia and West Berkshire Council would like to thank the residents who have been showing their support with notes, pictures and posts on social media for the waste teams.
Collecting waste from residents across the district remains a high priority for the Council but it is a very challenging situation for everyone with a reduction in staff availability which could result in further service reductions going forward.
The Council is continually monitoring the situation and the following changes have been implemented:
Currently suspended services include:
- HWRCs (this is due to government lockdown guidance)
- Bulky waste collections
Services that have been scaled back:
- Street cleansing
- Container deliveries (under review)
This is a changeable situation and further changes may be introduced in the coming days with or without advance notice. Please keep visiting the Council’s website for updates. We have created a dedicated page on our website that includes all the updates in one place to make it easier to keep up to date with information: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/coronavirus. All residents and businesses are encouraged to check this page regularly for updates across our service areas.
Please avoid making calls/enquiries to the Council on routine matters or non-essential waste services. This will allow our colleagues to focus limited resources on providing essential services. The crews have seen large volumes of excess refuse being presented for collection this week. It is also important that, wherever possible, residents reduce their waste generation at this time or use available storage e.g. sheds or garages to hold back some of the waste where they can and if safe to do so.
If that trend continues, it could overwhelm our already stretched collection systems and lead to significant services disruption going forward. We would also ask residents to be considerate towards the hard-working waste collection teams, who are doing their best for our communities.
The Council’s waste collections may start earlier than normal to give them a chance to finish rounds. Residents are advised to leave their bins out the night before (wherever practicable) or by 6:00am on the collection day.
Steve Ardagh-Walter, Executive Council Member for the Environment at West Berkshire Council, said: “I appreciate that waste collections are a much valued service so please be assured that we are engaging regularly with our contractor to keep collections going as best we can. I ask that residents continue to bear with us and, wherever they can, to adopt good waste reduction measures such as home composting or reusing items for example, leftover food and packaging. Our website offers a number of ideas on reducing food waste, recipes and recycling. I would encourage residents to use this valuable resource while the Council continues to do what we need to do to support residents.
Everyone is working hard to support those most at risk, including ensuring food and prescription deliveries.— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) March 22, 2020
YOU can help too. If you know anyone with serious underlying conditions, please give them a call or send them a message.
📲 Save & share this image with others#COVID19 pic.twitter.com/L7fXnYdkoC
Today @RobertJenrick unveiled plans for a new Local Support System in partnership with councils, businesses and voluntary groups to deliver vital groceries and medicines to the most vulnerable people at the highest risk from coronavirus / covid19
Visit Local Suport System Link below.
There are currently daily televised updates on the current coronavirus situation or you can find it online from the BBC
The Volunteer Centre West Berkshire are looking for volunteers that want to help and a link to their volunteering form can be found on their website to co-ordinate help, as well as local community groups.
Currently Social Distancing is being advised, with advice not to go to cinemas, theatres, pubs etc. Many of these places have cancelled all events they have on until further notice. Local information can be found on the Newbury Local News Website
Stay at Home Advice
Some people are being advised to stay at home
Rumours are circulating about Ibuprofen and coronavirus.
The Department of Health and Safety states:-
“That, while there is “currently no evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse”, people should take the paracetamol instead.
The latest information adds that people who have been told by their doctor to take ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), should not stop taking their medication unless told by their doctor.
Shielding the Vulnerable and Elderly
Shielding the vulnerable and elderly will be an essential part of the government’s strategy when cases are rising rapidly – it was one of the decisions signed off at an emergency Cobra meeting on Thursday.
Half of the overall cases are expected within a period of a few weeks, with 95% in a period of around 10 weeks.
So officials will ask those at most risk of developing severe illness to stay at home.
They believe if they get the timing right and people adhere to it the move could reduce the number of deaths by up to a third.
But it of course carries its own risks – mentally and physically.
They believe the longest they could ask people to do this for is around 12 weeks.
You will all be aware of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Neighbourhood Watch exists to look out for communities across England and Wales and at a time like this we encourage you to consider ways to keep yourself, your loved ones and those in your community safe, particularly the isolated and vulnerable. We are following the advice from the government and encourage you to do the same:
This is a particularly informative group, with reliable information being regularly updated with the latest information on new services/advice appearing.
Local Community Groups, Local Volunteers and Services
Many villages have set up local community groups to help with shopping and collecting prescriptions. There are people happy to chat and prevent lonliness, often including the local vicar. Some pubs are arranging takeaway services and other are arranging food banks. Doctors Surgeries are changing the way they respond to patient’s needs and most of this information can be found on your local Facebook Group. If you do not use social media, then you should have been made aware of someone you can call to make sure the information is relayed to you in your area.
Churches are closed for their normal services, with many left open so people can go for private prayer. There are also live streaming sessions.
Live Streaming Concerts
London-based Lambert Jackson productions has come up with a way to keep entertaining as coronavirus brings things to a halt. The company behind the U.K productions of “The Secret Garden” and “Love at the Musicals” has teamed up with London’s Theatre Cafe to keep the lights on as theaters around the country go dark.
The online location that will house these live stream performances has not yet been decided, but check back for more updates and links to watch.
Many supermarkets are operating a ‘over 70’s and the vulnerable’ hour in the morning.
Online shopping services are looking at priorities delivery slots for these two groups.
Some hospitals and care homes are restricting visiting.