Ipswich, Babergh and Mid Suffolk to restore brown bin collections to clear garden waste this month

PUBLISHED: 14:15 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:25 01 May 2020

Ipswich Council is to start emptying brown bins again from May 11. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Ipswich Council is to start emptying brown bins again from May 11. Picture: PAUL GEATER


Brown bin collections of garden waste will resume in Ipswich, Babergh and Mid Suffolk later this month after they were suspended at the start of the lockdown in March because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

Ipswich council suspended collecting garden waste because managers feared they could face problems with operating their normal black and blue bin collection if the number of absentees among waste collection staff rose significantly.

It is understood that the absentee rate in the department has not been as high as the officials had anticipated – while the fine weather and the face people are staying at home has encouraged many householders to pay extra attention to their gardens.

This has led to brown bins being filled – and prompted calls this week from readers for the council to resume collections. They have pointed out that in the height of the growing season it is difficult for domestic compost heaps to keep up with the amount of grass and hedge cuttings that an amateur gardener can produce!

The decision to restore brown bin collections from May 11 was taken by council chief executive Russell Williams in consultation with senior managers and councillors including borough leader David Ellesmere.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk have also announced garden waste collections will resume on the same day, with collections happening on the same days as they were prior to lockdown.

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The two authorities said that no homes would be left out of pocket from the suspension of garden waste, which is a subscription service.

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There have not been reports of serious fly-tipping of garden material, but officials have been aware of growing calls for the service to be restored.

From the garden waste point of view, the lockdown came at the wrong time of the year with plants growing and people having more time at home to try to ensure that their patch is as smart as possible.

Ipswich residents will only get their brown bin collected week commencing May 11 if that is their scheduled week and they normally put their brown bin out at the same time as their blue bin. Those residents who normally put their brown bin out at the same time as their black bin will get their brown bin collected week commencing May 18 which is their next usual scheduled week of collection.

Councils are expecting more brown bins than usual to be left out, with much heavier content. It will not be collecting additional material left beside the brown bin, as this has the potential to be a manual handling and littering issue for teams with heavy bags that may split.

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