Why you need to put your bins out early in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 12:55 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:28 11 August 2020

Refuse collectors in Ipswich started work early because of the heat. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Refuse collectors in Ipswich started work early because of the heat. Picture: PAUL GEATER


Refuse collectors in Ipswich have been making very early starts in a bid to beat the heat on their rounds in the town as temperatures are again set to climb above 30C.

They normally start early – at 6am – but during the heatwave this has been brought forward an hour so they can finish most of the rounds before the hottest time of the day in the early to mid-afternoon.

That has meant that some households got an early-morning wake-up as crews emptied their bins earlier – but residents were understanding and there were no complaints to the borough about the early-morning start.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “There were problems on Friday (the last day of domestic rubbish collection) because of the heat, so our high temperature rules were applied today and will be for the next few days.

“That means we start an hour earlier and try to get three quarters of the work completed by noon so staff can finish in the early afternoon when it is hottest.

“Our teams walk between 15 and 21 miles a day in protective clothing with trucks that are very warm anyway – it is very uncomfortable. We send out vans with chilled water to them as they are going around the town.

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“It’s a bit like walking from Ipswich to Clacton every day – but without the ice cream at the end of the walk!”

There would be another early start on Wednesday and probably on Thursday as well. Managers would be keeping an eye on the weather forecasts but at the moment it looks as if the temperature should dip on Friday and that should be the end of the hot spell.

MORE: Ipswich resumes brown bin collections

Although the teams have been struggling in the heat, one collector said people had been very understanding even though the early arrival might have given some an early alarm call.

And the council spokeswoman urged householders to help by putting out their bins the night before collection, even if they are normally collected later in the day.

She said: “The rounds are being changed to fit in with the heat and it would be a shame if a household missed out on their collection because we came before they had put out their bin so it is a good idea to put it out the night before.”

Life isn’t easy for refuse collectors – in a few months time they will face the prospect of working in very low temperatures and possibly the dangers of snow and ice.

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