Bin collections in Manchester hit by staff shortages due to Covid-19

Food waste and green recycling is currently not being collected in Manchester as staff absences due to Covid mean services have been reduced.

Manchester is experiencing some disruption to its waste collection services due to the numbers of staff off work due to Covid-19.

Local authorities across the country have faced a difficult New Year when it comes to ensuring the bins are emptied as the Omicron variant has led to workforce shortages as people are off sick or having to self-isolate.

And Manchester City Council has revealed that the city is no exception.

What is the current situation with bin collections in Manchester?

Manchester City Council has set out the latest situation for collecting the city’s rubbish on its website.

The local authority has decided to suspend collections of food waste and green recycling.

Grey or black, brown and blue bin collections are continuing.

Residents are asked to put food waste in their general waste bin and to leave garden waste in the green bin for when collections restart.

The council also apologised that in recent days some residents will not have had their bins emptied on the expected day.

It says that if this happens, people should leave their bin out and a crew will come to empty it the following day.

If rubbish has not been collected after that, residents should report it as a missed collection.

Manchester City Council apologised for any inconvenience and said the problems were due to a combination of staff absence levels because of Covid-19 and a national shortage of heavy goods vehicle drivers.

Is this a national problem?

Across the country councils have been working out how best to keep their services running with large numbers of staff absences.

Bins have remained uncollected over the New Year period in towns and cities as local authorities find their crews extremely stretched, some reporting dozens of employees being unable to come into work.

And recycling collections have had to be scrapped in many places as there are not enough people available to work to pick them up.

Bin collections have been impacted in parts of Derbyshire today following snow and ice.

It has been reported that ministers have been asking councils to draw up plans for keeping services running with absence levels of up to 25%.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils across England, said crews have been badly impacted by the spread of the Omicron variant and called for workers be prioritised for Covid tests.

An LGA spokesman said: “As cases of Covid-19 rise in light of the Omicron variant, councils are concerned that these existing staffing issues may get worse.”