Halton Borough Council is updating residents with the latest information on how its waste, cleansing and open space services are operating, and how you can help stop the spread of the virus.

 All general waste, recycling and garden waste collection services are currently operating as normal, and the Council will do its best to keep these services operating as scheduled for as long as possible.

 The Council has robust business continuity plans which enables us to keep the waste collection services going throughout the current period of emergency measures. However, going forward, it may be that altering the way in which we carry out services becomes unavoidable. We will keep residents informed if any changes need to be made and how they may be affected.

 You can help keep the waste collection service operating normally for as long as possible by taking the following measures:

 Think about the waste that you produce, reduce it as much as possible and make full use of the Council’s kerbside recycling services. By doing this, you will help limit the amount of general waste that requires collecting from households which, in turn, will help ease some of the pressures facing our general waste collection service.

  • To ensure that our collection staff are not put at unnecessary risk, please wipe the handles of your bins with anti-bacterial cleaning products or soap before presenting for collection.

  • In line with guidance from Public Health England, any personal waste (such as used tissues or disposable cleaning cloths) from households where someone is showing coronavirus symptoms should be placed securely in disposable rubbish bags. These bags should then be placed into another bag and then be tied securely and kept separate from other waste for 72 hours before being put in your bin. All other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

 We would like to remind people that the Council’s two Household Waste Recycling Centres remain closed until further notice so please do not visit either of the sites. The closure of the sites will remain under review and the public will be notified if, and when, we are in a position to re-open them.

 For health reasons, timely emptying of litter bins in public spaces is also essential and this service is also operating as normal.

 Contingency plans are in place which will allow us to keep this service running should things become more difficult, but it may also have to be amended if necessary. The public can help us by limiting, as much as possible, what they place in street and park litter bins.

 The Government has been clear about keeping public parks open. This is with exception of enclosed facilities within parks, such as equipped children’s play areas, skate parks, bowling greens and tennis courts – these were all closed on Tuesday and will remain closed for at least three weeks.

 The Council recognises the importance of parks and open spaces for exercise and mental wellbeing and, at present, we are still maintaining them to the usual standard.

 That may have to change in the coming weeks and if it does it will be very noticeable. For example, grass cutting frequencies may have to be altered or cutting suspended in some areas altogether.

 Again the public can help us to keep these facilities going by:

 Only using them for the permitted once a day exercise

  • Not attempting to use the closed facilities

  • Not gathering in groups

  • Maintaining social distancing by not approaching our front line staff to ask them questions

  • Taking any litter home with you.

 Cllr Stef Nelson, the Council’s portfolio holder for Environmental Services, said: “We are committed to keeping these services operating normally for as long as possible and are grateful for your help in achieving this.

“We are in an ever-changing situation and we will endeavour to keep people up-to-date to any alterations we may have to make to service arrangements. Please keep safe and well everyone.”