Published: 17:06, 26 March 2020
| Updated: 17:09, 26 March 2020
A council has issued an assurance its refuse collectors are being kept safe on their rounds and that services are running as normal.
To keep a safe environment crews, in Maidstone are following a number of measures to keep clean.
They are using hand-cleaning solutions, wearing gloves, keeping their social distance and they have reduced the amount of time they spend inside the truck.
The trucks are being cleaned regularly and staff have been working in the same teams to reduce the risk of cross infection.
It comes as a council defended workers in another part of Kent, who briefly forgot about socially distancing themselves, prompting a slew of negative comments on social media.
Maidstone council is reminding residents to make sure bins are left out by 7am on the collection day and to put all black bin waste into refuse sacks before putting it into their bin.
If anyone has coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating, any contaminated materials, such as tissues, cleansing wipes need to be double bagged and stored securely for 72 hours, before being disposed of in the black bin. Tissues are not recyclable and must never be placed into the recycling bin.
Recycling waste should be kept clean and loose as usual, inside the green recycling wheelie bin.
People are also being asked to park responsibly in order that refuse collection lorries can get through.
Graham Gosden, waste manager at Maidstone Borough Council said: “We are doing all we can to keep this vital service running at this difficult time. The safety of our staff is our top priority so we have introduced measures to keep them safe. We are asking residents to maintain social distancing around our staff and please wash their hands before and after touching their bins.
“One of the biggest issues we have is with people parking irresponsibly and not allowing enough room for our refuse lorries to get through. I do understand that many of us are working from home and more cars than normal will be parked, however please make sure emergency vehicles and our refuse vehicles can still get access to your street.”
More information on Maidstone council's response to Covid-19 is available here
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More by this authorMary Graham