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Waste collections cancelled as Storm Eunice bites

Waste collections across the UK have been cancelled as the Met Office has issued a ‘threat to life’ red warning as Storm Eunice makes landfall this morning (18 February).

The red warning was first issued last night for areas in the south west of England and Wales, giving them more time to prepare.

In Wales, Cardiff city council was among the first Welsh authorities to suspend waste collections today and was soon followed by Caerphilly, Flintshire, and Newport.

Neath Port Talbot moved all collections to Saturday, but in Merthyr Tydfil collections are reported to have been going ahead as planned.

In the south of England, Devon county council was quick to cease waste and recycling collections and has asked residents not to put any waste out to avoid flying debris, postponing the collections until Monday.

HWRCs

The Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) shut all 14 of its recycling centres and halted all waste collections, with garden waste collections abandoned for a week. With winds of up to 100mph, the partnership also warned the public o check if their neighbour’s bins have also been brought in.

SWP managing director Mickey Green said: “This is obviously a difficult decision, but the health and safety of crews and the public has to be paramount.

“We will be working closely with our contractor Suez on a plan to return for missed collections and will provide information as soon as possible.

“For tomorrow, we would very much encourage people to keep their recycling, rubbish, garden waste and other containers somewhere very sheltered to avoid them becoming a danger to themselves or others in what look likely to be very extreme conditions in many parts of the county.

“If you notice your neighbour’s bins and boxes are out, perhaps consider letting them know that collections have been suspended so they can bring theirs in, too.”

South

Other councils in the south including Cornwall, Dorset and Southampton also halted all waste collection services once the Met’s warning was upgraded from amber to red this morning.

Most collections have been postponed to Monday, though some have said they will assess the situation over the weekend with a view to carrying them out then.

London

With the capital now also facing a ‘threat to life’ warning, a string of councils has taken the step to halt collections and close household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs).

In Richmond upon Thames, for example, the local authority has suspended blue and black box recycling collections until Saturday, but planned to continue collecting garden waste and general waste.

A council spokesperson said: “We recommend you keep your recycling inside on Friday. Please present your garden waste, food waste and general waste in good time – but do not put them on the road or pavement, it will be collected from your front garden.”

In North London, the North London Waste Authority also closed all recycling centres, as residents have been warned to stay inside.

In Barking, the council tried to carry out some collections, but stopped when the red warning came into effect.

At 9am, the council warned: “Rubbish and recycling collections due today that haven’t been collected already will now be postponed, as we keep our staff safe.

“Due to the storm, we can’t yet confirm when we’ll be able to collect today’s rubbish/recycling. Please bear with us and stay safe.”

England

Residents have been urged to bring their bins inside to prevent them being blown away as debris.

As seen below, one resident in the south west spotted a wheelie bin being blown away as the winds picked up.

The storm falling on a Friday means some local authorities will have to take the unusual steps of carrying out household collections over the weekend, potentially putting Christmas and New Year procedures into place.

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