Rubbish collections missed as Cityclean staff hit by covid shortages

Posted On 19 Jan 2021 at 10:58 am

stock image of overflowing rubbish in Brighton

Rubbish collections are likely to be missed as Cityclean struggles to keep up with covid-related staff shortages.

Brighton and Hove City Council is warning there could be disruption to services for weeks or even months as it races to recruit agency staff.

Services are operating normally at present, but more and more staff are being infected with covid or told to self-isolate – alongside staff off with normal winter sickness.

And the amount of domestic waste being put out for collection has also increased because more people are buying online – which means more packaging to recycle.

Councillor Amy Heley, chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “Our staff are working tremendously hard to keep the city clean and tidy, and have been doing so since the first lockdown last March.

“But we want to be honest and realistic with our residents and let people know we do have plans in place to minimise any disruption to service as much as possible, but there may be some delays.

“We hope people will understand we have and are doing our best to keep the service running as much as normal during these difficult times.”

Collections are also being hampered by the sheer volume of waste crews are having to pick up as lockdown and shops closing means more and more people are buying food, clothes, luxuries and essentials online.

This, the council says, is creating far more household waste and recycling in the form of bags, boxes, paper and plastic.

Councillor Heley added: “All the extra rubbish means it takes longer to collect, our lorries get fuller quicker and more trips are needed to the recycling or waste sites, and this can have a knock-on effect on following collections.”

The council says the health and safety of its residents and crews is the number one priority and suggests ways collections can be made safer for individuals, families and staff.


  • keep at least 2 metres from crews so they can carry out collections safely
  • wash your hands before and after sorting your rubbish and putting your bins out
  • clean the handles on your bin with disinfectant before and after being emptied
  • if you have a vehicle, please make sure it’s not blocking access to bins as this can also hold up or cause missed collections.

Personal waste

  • put personal waste like tissues, masks and other PPE into a securely disposable rubbish bag
  • bags should then be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste
  • put these aside for at least 48 hours before being put in your usual household waste.

Other ways to help

  • flatten all boxes and place in your bin. Unflattened boxes take up extra space
  • don’t leave extra waste beside you bin or communal bins as this is fly-tipping
  • if you have too much waste or recycling, please keep it until your next collection or take it to one of our 64 recycling points or our Household Waste Recycling Sites.

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