Ongoing disruption to garden waste collections

Disruption to garden waste collections in Peterborough due to the national driver shortage is to continue over the coming weeks.

We have been using all means at our immediate disposal to maintain services as much as we can, in the face of these current driver shortages. This includes retention payments for drivers, ongoing recruitment, staff upskilling (driver training ongoing but back logged due to COVID), supervisors utilised for driving where needed, use of staff across departments, targeted advertising campaigns for drivers. We have recruited a number of new staff using them to ensure we are prioritising the collections of refuse, recycling and then food waste.

Unfortunately, despite these contingency measures, and the outstanding work being done by our front line waste teams we will not be able to restart the brown bin service in its normal guise at this time. As such the following brown bin service will be put in place:

  • From 5th October 2021, we will be emptying the existing brown bins that are already full and this will be done over a 4 to 8 week period. All customers will get their brown bins emptied before the service is suspended for the winter, as long as their bins are out for collection.
  • Each customer will get their bins emptied (if out for collection) before their service is suspended.
  • Customers will receive a refund on their brown bin subscription from the Council, for the 11 months of service which has not yet been provided.
  • The refund process and timescale are currently being reviewed and more information will follow.
  • This will mean all brown bin customers will be able to ensure their current full brown bin is emptied (if out for collection).
  • Collections will be done on a rolling basis based on the schedule will be circulated from w/c 27 September 2021.
  • We will keep residents updated via our website as to where the collections are taking place.
  • In the new year when the national driver situation allows we will re-launch the garden waste service, and re-contact customers.

Although we are not alone with having to suspend our garden waste collections, with many other services across the country also being suspended, we apologise for the service disruption, and the impact on residents.

Food and garden waste collections – update

We are pleased to report that, as of w/c 13th September, the food waste collection will resume as normal across the City.

Due to ongoing staff shortages, however, the garden waste collection will be cancelled for a further fortnight. Garden waste customers will receive an update by email. We apologise for this continued disruption.

Please be assured that we are working hard to be able to reinstate the garden waste service as soon as possible.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the Government has introduced three new measures.

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces.
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.

Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

These measures came into effect on Monday 23 March. The Government will look again at these measures after three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

1. Staying at home

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

These measures must be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded. Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.

The Government has also identified a number of critical workers whose children can still go to school or their childcare provider. This critical worker definition does not affect whether or not you can travel to work – if you are not a critical worker, you may still travel to work provided you cannot work from home.

Critical workers and parents of vulnerable children may leave the house to take children to and from school or their childcare provider.

2. Closing non-essential shops and public spaces

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include:

  • pubs, cinemas and theatres.
  • all retail stores selling non-essential goods – this includes clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
  • libraries, community centres, and youth centres.
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.
  • communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
  • places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate families.
  • hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use, excluding permanent residents, key workers and those providing emergency accommodation, for example for the homeless.

More detailed information and exemptions can be found here, including the list of those businesses and other venues that must close. Other businesses can remain open and their employees can travel to work, provided they cannot work from home.

3. Stopping public gatherings

To make sure people are staying at home and apart from each other, the Government is also stopping all public gatherings of more than two people.

There are only two exceptions to this rule:

  • where the gathering is of a group of people who live together – this means that a parent can, for example, take their children to the shops if there is no option to leave them at home.
  • where the gathering is essential for work purposes – but workers should try to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.

In addition, the Government is stopping social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies. This excludes funerals, which can be attended by immediate family.

4. Going to work

As set out in the section on staying at home, people can travel to and from work, but only where the work they do absolutely cannot be done from home.

With the exception of the organisations covered above in the section on closing non-essential shops and public spaces, the Government has not required any other businesses to close – indeed it is important for business to carry on.

Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.

Sometimes this will not be possible, as not everyone can work from home. Certain jobs require people to travel to their place of work – for instance if they operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services.

If you cannot work from home then you can still travel to work, provided you are well and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating. This is consistent with advice from the Chief Medical Officer.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).

Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms. Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a 2 metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.

No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.

No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

As set out in the section on closing non-essential shops and public spaces, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. The Government has set out guidance on which organisations this requirement covers. Advice for employees of these organisations on employment and financial support is available at

At all times, workers should follow the guidance on self-isolation if they or anyone in their household shows symptoms.

5. Delivering these new measures

These measures will reduce our day to day contact with other people. They are a vital part of our efforts to reduce the rate of transmission of coronavirus.

Every citizen is instructed to comply with these new measures.

The Government will therefore be ensuring the police and other relevant authorities have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings where people do not comply.

They will initially last for the three weeks from 23 March, at which point the Government will look at them again and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

Changes to Services in response to COVID-19

Garden waste schedule changed to 4 weekly

Garden Waste (brown bin) collections will be moving to a four-weekly schedule to ensure during this time refuse services can be maintained to all residents as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The day of the week your collection takes place will remain the same but your garden waste will only get collected once every 4 weeks. 
  • No extra garden waste placed by the side of the bin will be collected – as it would slow the crews down and mean more resources would be needed to collect the garden waste.
  • Bin lids must be shut and bins not overflowing – they can become off-balanced when being tipped into the collection vehicle. This can lead to them falling off and injuring people. We want to protect our staff and members of the public.
  • Garden Waste should not be placed in the refuse bin – we will do everything to ensure collections of refuse continue, however, if there is a delay, residents may need spare capacity in there refuse bin. It would be sensible to priorities other waste.
  • Missed Collections – we will try to ensure your collection is made, however, if we are required to move staff onto Black or Green bin rounds to maintain core services, unfortunately, we may have to cancel Garden waste collections and these will not be returned for.
  • Our collection crews are key workers doing and vital job, please support them in their role by driving safely near them – we have weekly regular reports of cars driving on pavements to get round vehicles or sitting too close to the back of the trucks. Our staff have been hit on numerous occasion by cars driving on pavements. Please be patient and help to keep them safe.
  • Please ensure that bins are placed out by 6.45am on your collection day

Getting rid of your waste if self-isolating or confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19)

Any individuals asked to self-isolate, either as a precaution or because they are confirmed to have coronavirus, should follow this advice to get rid of their household waste to ensure the virus is not spread via personal waste.

  • Individuals should place all personal waste such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, securely in a plastic bag or bin liner.
  • This plastic bag should then be placed in another plastic bag and securely tied.
  • These bags must be stored separately to other waste for at least 72 hours before being placed in the general rubbish collection.

After 72 hours outside the body the virus is no longer viable and the double bagged waste can be put in the general rubbish collection as normal. Only waste that is heavily contaminated, such as tissues that have been coughed in and disposable cleaning cloths need to be treated in this way. Regular household recycling and waste should be treated as normal.

Parks – closed

Council-run play areas and skate parks are now closed due to Government advice regarding social distancing. All parks and open spaces are still open for public use in line with the Government guidelines – list of all Peterborough City Council play areas and skate parks that are closed 

Household Recycling Centre – closed

All recycling centres across Peterborough will be closed from Tuesday 24 March until further notice.