Moray Council has reversed its decision to stop recycling of metal, paper and plastic at the kerbside following a re-assessment of safety measures and staff availability.
Blue and purple bins will now be collected on a three-weekly cycle alongside existing green bin collections instead of the previous fortnightly collection.
No glass collections will take place, but the unmanned recycling centre at Tesco and across Moray are being regularly serviced and bottles can be deposited there. Residents are advised to incorporate a trip to these recycling centres into their essential journeys for food or medicines.
The recycling collections were stopped at the start of the government’s COVID-19 lockdown; many of the waste team members had to self-isolate for two weeks, and changes to ensure social distancing between teams were implemented at short notice.
A Moray Council spokesman said: “Observations over the last three weeks means we have the capacity to reinstate some of the recycling services and still maintain social distancing between our teams.
“It is heartening to see that residents have taken on our request to store their recycling waste rather than putting it in the green bins as we’ve seen no increase in waste going to landfill.
“Our teams have also been buoyed by the public messages of support they have seen on their rounds – it’s made a huge difference to them all.”
New recycling collection days will be on the same day as current green bin collection days, to which there is no change. Residents can find their green bin collection days on our bin day finder page on the council’s website, and as from Monday 20 April should put their blue and purple bins out at the same time.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said many local people contacted him with concerns about the interruption in kerbside recycling and the potential for increase in fly-tipping.
He said: “I have been in ongoing discussion with Moray Council about this issue and I’m pleased that they have swiftly acted on these concerns and most recycling collections will resume, whilst all necessary precautions will be taken to adhere to all the Covid-19 regulations regarding social distancing. Our refuse collectors do an excellent job in all kinds of weather and I pay tribute to them for their ongoing efforts and willingness to get the job done.
“Whilst this is not a return to the full service, the Conservative group and I will continue to liaise with Moray Council over future arrangements but this is a positive step forward.”