RESIDENTS are being advised to clean the handles on their wheelie bins to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

St Helens Council has begun weekly collections of the brown bins after suspending recycling, food and garden waste collection services.

The council said waste collection crews are still hard at work despite the “incredibly difficult circumstances” and revealed crews have recieved letters of thanks and pictures from residents, which has boosted staff morale.

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Crews are visiting thousands of homes every day and are doing everything they can to stop the spread of coronavirus.

To help staff further, the council has released some new guidance for every household to follow.

St Helens Star: Collection crews have received thank you letters from some households Collection crews have received thank you letters from some households

This includes every household being asked to clean or sanitise the handles of their brown bin, before and after handling it.

Residents are also asked to maintain at least two metres distance from the collections staff, and to continue to treat them with respect.

Cllr Andy Bowden, cabinet member for environmental services, said: “Our crews are working hard to maintain a waste collection service through this crisis and they deserve our utmost thanks.

“The team has had to make some tough decisions and adapt rapidly in these unprecedented times to keep the service.

“We know that these changes have affected you all, and we ask you for your understanding and patience.

“And as residents, we too can play our part in supporting the service. Please follow the advice to help keep our crews as safe as possible and the service operational.”

St Helens Star: Recycling collections have been suspended until further noticeRecycling collections have been suspended until further notice

Here are some other key points households need to be aware of:

  • For safety reasons, collection crews will only empty your brown bin if the lid is shut. Bags piled at the side of your bin will also not be removed.
  • Do not have a clear out of unwanted things, as this will put further pressure on the collections. Do not put anything in your bin you would normally take to the recycling centre.
  • On your collection day be mindful of where you park your car. If crews have issues getting into your road, they may not be able to empty your bin.
  • If you are putting garden waste in your brown bin, ensure there is enough space for your domestic waste. Composting is a great alternative for garden waste.
  • National government guidance for those who have symptoms of COVID-19 is to dispose of any used tissues or hygiene products, such as disposable cleaning cloths, in a bin bag, tied securely. These bags should be placed into another bin bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your brown bin for collection as usual.

Brown bins will be collected every week on your normal collection day.