The coronavirus pandemic and resulting national lockdown has changed our daily lives and how we react with the environment around us in every way.
The sky is clear, the roads are mostly traffic free, our pubs and salons are closed and as we are all at home a lot more our bins are very full.
While many people are staying at home and staying safe, many aspects of life have to continue and Sheffield City Council has responded with the primary aim of keeping all residents safe, healthy and well, and fulfilling its duty in preventing the spread of the virus.
This has included:
- continuing with all household waste and recycling collections across the city
- continuing (minus a two week stop) to collect green garden waste and take new sign ups to the service
- keeping all household waste recycling centres open for essential visits
- managing traffic and visits at household waste recycling centres
- monitoring and responding to reports of flytipping
- supporting businesses seven days a week by responding to more than 700 requests to protect workers trying to manage social distancing issues
- dealing with the minority of businesses not following the new laws and serving closure notices where they failed to comply
- continuing to provide essential pest and cleaning services
- providing extra enforcement staff to deal with increased noise and bonfire complaints and a seven day a week enforcement presence in hotspots
- working with food businesses that are able to trade, on public health and safety matters
- our contractors Amey carrying out
- essential highway maintenance
- grass cutting
- keeping the streets clean and free from dumped waste
- and in partnership with South Yorkshire Police
- monitoring and enforcing incidents where social distancing rules are ignored
- responding to reports of businesses operating against Government guidance
Councillor Mark Jones, Cabinet Member for Environment, Streetscene and Climate Change at Sheffield City Council, said: “One of the biggest impacts of the coronavirus lockdown has most certainly been on our environment.
“We’re making fewer journeys and many of the journeys we do make are by bike or on foot. But, as we are all in our homes more, we’re making more waste, more noise and getting more of those do-it-yourself jobs done.
“This presents several challenges for us as a council but we have put measures in place to allow services to continue and are working with partners to make sure we are ready to respond to this situation as and when things change.
“We’ve continued to collect all waste, are one of the only authorities in the country to provide a place to take essential excess waste. We have continued to keep our roads and pavements maintained. Though our streets may appear deserted at times, we have not abandoned them. We have continued to maintain our urban environment. We also have officers ready to respond to complaints of nuisance behaviour and breaches of Government guidance and unlike virtually all other councils, we have seen a decrease in flytipping.
“I’m immensely proud of our teams who are out there every day, so that we can all stay at home safely. We’ve made many changes to protect people but we also have to ask everyone to do their bit, to stick to the guidance, to listen to our staff and to consider how their actions affect others.
“Every decision we make has Sheffielders and our core priorities at the forefront. These principles; to keep people safe, protect our vulnerable, support people to return to school or work at the right time, follow national guidance and support the recovery of our economy, shape our plans to provide services that meet the challenges during difficult times. ”
The Council’s Cabinet agreed the Waste and Recycling service response during their first virtual Cabinet meeting this week.
Sheffield is one of the few Local Authorities which has been able to keep its waste recycling centres open during COVID-19.
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