Garden waste collections suspended due to coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 23 March 2020

Due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), Colchester Borough Council has made the decision to suspend its garden waste collections from 24 March 2020 for the foreseeable future.

Coronavirus has led to reduced resource within the service as well as an increase in the amount of rubbish and recycling households are putting out for collection as they spend more time at home.

The Council has taken this decision so that its resources are focused on matters of public health, safety and community support, whilst prioritising the remainder of its core waste and recycling service; food waste, black bags/bins and paper, plastic, cans, glass and textiles recycling.

Whilst garden waste collections are on hold, households in the borough with garden waste can choose to:

  • add garden waste to their home composter or ask their neighbour(s) about adding it to theirs
  • use grass cuttings as mulch
  • cut up and compact their garden cuttings and clipping as much as possible to reduce the volume and store their garden waste
  • postpone some/all of their gardening tasks until the service resumes

Composting at home is a quick, easy and cost-effective method of clearing away garden waste and making a free supply of compost to use in your garden. Whether it’s vegetable peelings and eggshells from the kitchen, compostable products, shredded paper or the cuttings from the lawnmower, simply add it to a compost bin and it will gradually break down to produce environmentally friendly compost.

The Love Essex website also provides information on how to create your own home compost.

The collection of all other recycling and rubbish materials including flats, special collections and trade waste collections, are unaffected.

Households will also be unable to report missed garden waste collections whilst this service is suspended.

For further information and updates on the recycling and rubbish service during this outbreak, residents are encouraged to visit

Councillor Martin Goss, Portfolio Holder for Waste, Environment and Transportation, said: “These are unprecedented circumstances and as a council we have to use the resources we have available in the most appropriate way.

“It’s important that we prioritise other collection types, particularly black bags/bins and food waste which would soon become unpleasant if left, over garden waste at the moment.

"We’re aware spring is a busy time for gardeners and apologise for any inconvenience this causes but we hope that households will understand our decision and make use of other options such as home composting and mulching during this time.”

Page last reviewed: 23 March 2020


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