Image Coronavirus

Coronavirus FAQs

Southend Borough Council and Veolia have been working to minimise the impact of coronavirus on recycling and waste services, and street cleansing.

Veolia employees are classed as key workers by the Government to make sure essential services, such as waste and recycling collections can continue.


Business continuity plans have been successfully put in place and resources are being closely watched to make sure the most essential services can continue to be delivered safely. Any updates will be put on our website, so please check regularly in case of any changes.

Kerbside collections

Are there any changes to recycling and rubbish collections?

We currently have a small number of positive covid cases affecting our Southend-on-Sea operations, with a larger number being required to self isolate in line with Government guidelines. 

Service delivery has also been impacted by the national shortage of HGV drivers, estimated at around 100,000 due to Brexit and the pandemic. We are actively recruiting and training new drivers, loaders and a range of other roles to help ensure a stable workforce for the future.  

The situation is fluctuating daily and we are working hard to keep vital services running for the community.  We ask residents to bear with us during this difficult time. Any changes to the services will be shared on Southend-on-Sea Borough Council social media pages and on Southend-on-Sea Borough Council website, so please check these regularly. 

Are there any changes to garden waste collections?

Garden waste collections in some areas may take place later than usual this week. Please leave your garden waste bin and sacks out and we will collect them as soon as possible. If your garden waste has not been collected by 7pm please present your garden waste the next morning from 7am. Any changes to the services will be shared on Southend-on-Sea Borough Council social media pages and on Southend-on-Sea Borough Council website, so please check these regularly.

I live in a flat – are there any changes to my recycling and rubbish collections?

Recycling collection in some blocks of flats might take place later than usual this week. Please do not overfill the bins or leave your waste in your bin store as it will slow down our crews. We are aware of the block of flats impacted and are working hard to get to them as quickly as possible. Our vehicles are equipped with on-board systems which allow us to know which bin stores have not been collected, there is no need to report a missed collection at this stage.

 

You have said collections are taking place as normal, but my recycling/garden waste/ rubbish hasn’t been collected – what should I do?

Recycling and waste collections in some areas may take place later than usual this week. Please leave your bags and receptacles out and we will collect them as soon as possible. If your recycling and waste have not been collected by 7pm please present your waste the next morning from 7am. 

Our vehicles are equipped with on-board systems which allow us to know which roads have not been completed, there is no need to report a missed collection at this stage. Please report a missed collection if your recycling and waste is still awaiting collection 48 hours after your scheduled collection day.

 

If changes need to be made to collections, which ones will be affected?

Should decisions need to be taken about stopping services, the following low priority services will be stopped first:

  • Bulky waste collections
  • Garden waste collections
  • Textiles collections

This will provide resources to make sure essential services like:

  • Recycling collections
  • Rubbish collections
  • Food collections

can stay in operation as a priority.
Service updates will be put on our website, so please check regularly in case of any changes.

My household is self-isolating – what should we do with our recycling and waste?

If you have symptoms that may be caused by COVID-19, have received a positive test result, or live in the same household as someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please follow the UK Government’s advice and store your personal waste (e.g. used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths) securely within disposable bags.

When appropriate, these bags should:

  • be tied
  • placed into another bag
  • securely tied or sealed

Please keep this waste separate from other bin bags. This waste must be stored for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual domestic or household waste bin.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal and put out for collection on your usual day.

Because I need to stay at home, I am producing more waste than usual – what should I do?

It’s more important than ever to make sure we avoid additional waste, as this will take pressure off our collection services while helping us to protect the environment. Every bit you cut down on will make a difference in allowing the service to run smoothly.

Remember that you can recycle all your household plastic packaging, glass bottles and jars and food and drink cans in your pink recycling sacks. Paper and card can be recycled in your blue boxes and food waste in the blue bin. Anything else – such as kitchen roll and tissues can be disposed of in your black sack - if you are affected by Coronavirus please click here for additional actions you should be taking with your waste.

Some easy actions you can take to reduce the amount of waste you produce are swapping single-use items by reusable ones (for example replacing kitchen roll by washable dishcloths) or buying lose fruits and vegetables. To reduce food waste, you can click here to find useful tips on food storage and advice on meal planning

 

I have run out of recycling (pink, clear or food waste) sacks, what should I do?

Regular sack deliveries are still taking place as normal for the moment – please check the delivery schedule online.
Any additional recycling and food waste sacks can be requested using MySouthend or collected from all Southend libraries, click here to find their locations and opening times. 

Household Waste and Recycling Centres

Please have a look at our dedicated page for questions related to Household Waste and Recycling Centres.

Street cleansing

Are you still emptying litter and dog bins around the borough?

Yes, we’re still emptying litter and dog waste bins in the borough.

Are street cleaning services operating as normal?

Yes, the street cleansing services are operating as normal.
We are monitoring the streets closely to remove fly-tips and waste wherever needed, and street cleaning crews are servicing litter bins to make sure that the Borough continues to be clean and safe. However, street cleansing resources may be drawn from to support the delivery of priority waste and recycling services.

Other questions

How can I support the collection and street cleaning crews?

There are lots of things we can all do to support the teams that continue to deliver critical front-line services.

  • Do not leave your waste on the public highway overnight and use your food waste bin to prevent black sacks from being scavenged by wildlife, never put food waste in your pink recycling sacks. 
  • Consider where you park your vehicle – with more of us staying at home and parking on residential streets, it is harder to get the lorries down the road to collect your waste. If a rubbish truck cannot get in, then it is likely that the same will apply to emergency services such as the fire brigade and ambulances.
  • Make sure your recycling and waste is presented by 7am in a visible position.
  • Please only present your garden waste bin if it is full, consider waiting another week if your bin is only half-full to help speed up our rounds.
  • Be patient if you follow our crews while they are carrying out collections and do not try to overtake our RCVs without visibility as it can be dangerous for our crews.
  • Lessen the amount of waste you are presenting. If every household puts out more waste than usual, the collection vehicles will fill up quicker, meaning it takes longer to collect and additional strain is placed on collection crews. HWRCs are open during normal hours. 
  • Please put ALL used tissues, paper hand towels and disposable cleaning cloths securely within disposable rubbish bags. 
  • Please make sure that all recycling and rubbish sacks are tied securely when you put them out for collection. Click here for information on how to present your waste correctly.
  • To help us all stay safe, we need everyone to tie their rubbish bags securely and make sure their recycling is clean and dry. If you are self-isolating, please follow the Government’s advice on disposing of your waste.

I would like to thank the crew for their hard work – how can I do this?

The safest way is to send in a compliment using our compliments, comments and complaints process.
Social distancing advice applies as much to our front-line workers as to everyone else, so please observe the social distancing requirements (click here). They will appreciate a smile, wave or a kind word from a distance.

What precautions are being put in place to protect residents and crews from Coronavirus?

Veolia's refuse collection and street cleansing teams are classed as key workers by the Government. As such throughout this uniquely challenging situation, they continue to provide essential services to help protect our community and public health.
 
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Veolia take their responsibilities around Coronavirus very seriously. The health and safety of all staff and the communities we serve is our top priority, and collection processes are being carefully managed. Working within the practical requirements of the job and the individual needs of employees and the local needs of the communities it serves, Veolia is following Government and its own operational guidelines and is taking all essential steps to guarantee the health of the workforce and members of the public.
 
We are extremely proud of the way the teams are rising to the challenge  of maintaining collection services and helping to keep the town clean and tidy. Please bear with us as we focus on key areas of service delivery and support our teams on the front line by following all Government advice given to the general public.

If you have symptoms that may be caused by COVID-19, have received a positive test result, or live in the same household as someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please store your personal waste (e.g. used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths) securely within disposable bags. When appropriate, these bags should be securely tied and placed into another bag and securely tied or sealed. Please keep this waste separate from other bin bags. This waste must be stored for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual domestic or household waste bin.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal and put out for collection on your usual day.

Which public toilets have been closed and why?

All public toilets are now open, with the exception of Chalkwell Esplanade which are closed for essential maintenance.

Please follow this guidance when using the toilet facilities

  • maintain social distancing of at least 2 meters whilst queuing and using the toilet facilities.
  • wash your hands regularly, whilst the toilets are cleaned regularly, we advise visitors to observe recommended hygiene practices: do not touch your face and to wash your hands regularly.
  • bring your own hand sanitiser when out in public places.
  • follow Government Guidance keep up to date with UK Government guidance by visiting the Gov.uk website for details.

For locations and facilities available please click to see Southend Borough Council's public toilets directory.