COVID-19: Service continuity of essential waste and water services
As we enter the second week of the government’s lockdown, we continue to work under the necessary national measures introduced to protect our country against the spread of the coronavirus.
During this unprecedented time, we are delivering essential services to support local communities and businesses alike and carried out over two million collections from homes around the UK in the first week of the lockdown.
We have contingency plans in place to ensure we can continue to collect bins and process waste, which is critical for maintaining public health and sanitation.
Our national presence and breadth of operations means we have the option to supplement our household collection crews with staff from other parts of our business – for example, those who usually collect business waste, where we have seen a reduction in collections as businesses around the UK temporarily close their doors. Collections from care homes, hospitals and other essential services supporting key workers continue to be prioritised and our other services continue.
We are working closely with Defra, ESA, CIWM and others to share best practice and ensure we’re following the most up-to-date guidance. Our teams monitor and review new information and guidance from government, and we share best practice and valuable experiences from across the SUEZ group.
Household waste recycling centres
While the vast majority of our essential services are being maintained for local authorities and residents, as well as our business customers, it is imperative that we continue service delivery only when it is safe to do so, strictly observing the social distancing and other guidance issued by Public Health England.
The core essential collection services are still being delivered at the kerbside, however, we do not consider access to household waste recycling centres as an essential activity during the lockdown period. We do not wish to promote non-essential travel and public gatherings inside or outside the sites, trying to mitigate the risk of virus transmission at this key time in the UK pandemic management.
Our position is in line with current guidance from the government and Public Health England, and our priority is to ensure the safety of our employees and the general public.
The efforts of our teams, local residents, suppliers and our customers in helping to keep essential services running is impressive and increasingly recognised by all.