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Local Authorities publish sixth report into impact of Covid-19 on waste services

12 May 2020

The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT), in partnership with key local authority network groups, has published the findings from its sixth waste impacts survey.

Working alongside the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC), the Local Government Association (LGA), the National Association of Waste Disposal Officers (NAWDO) and ADEPT are monitoring the continuing impacts of Covid-19 on waste services across England. 

This survey covers the week beginning 4th May and shows 93% of responding local authorities are reporting an increase in household waste. 99% of councils are managing these increases with either no or minimal disruption to collections of waste and recycling.

Currently, 86% of Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) were reported as being closed, but the survey results show that 94% of responding councils have plans to open some of their sites. Of these, over half of responding councils intend to open sites this week, with a further 40% opening next week.

Bulky and garden waste collections are also beginning to be reintroduced across many local authorities. Over half of garden waste services are operating normally, with 80% reporting higher than normal volumes. Compared with the first survey, there has been a doubling of bulky waste collections, with 36% of responding councils operating this service normally.

Speaking on behalf of these key networks Ian Fielding, Chair of ADEPT’s Waste Group said: “This week has seen HWRCs reopen across the country. We continue to monitor the situation closely as councils respond to Government guidance and work out how to operate sites in line with social distancing requirements. The safety of our operatives and the public remains paramount so inevitably, some HWRCs will need to remain closed if appropriate safety measures cannot be implemented.

“It is encouraging to see our household waste and recycling services return to normal across so many local authorities and demonstrates the hard work and commitment of our essential workers across the country.”

The results of all waste surveys are available on the ADEPT website: