WASTE and recycling collections could be affected over the festive season as Covid continues to affect frontline Cityclean staff, the council has announced.

Brighton and Hove City Council says the sheer volume of waste and recycling over Christmas and New Year could see bin collections being late or falling behind.

It says the service is already seeing some drivers and loaders falling ill with the infection over the last few days, and council bosses expect more staff sickness to follow.

The council says managers are working hard to recruit agency staff as back up, and are offering unaffected staff overtime in a bid to keep the service running to full capacity.

Councillor Steve Davis, co-chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee, said: “All of our Cityclean staff have worked extremely hard throughout the pandemic in all conditions and in all weathers.

“Like the rest of the country, we thought we’d seen the end of the worst of Covid, but unfortunately it’s still continuing to spread and take hold.

“As a council, we want to be honest and say there will most likely be missed and delayed collections, but we ask all our residents to please bear with us as we’ll be doing the very best we can under the circumstances.”

The council says to minimise disruption as much as possible it’ll be:

• redeploying staff where possible

• continuing to try and recruit new staff and use agency staff

• asking residents, where possible, to store their recycling until they can collect it

It says residents and businesses can help by:

• flattening all boxes before placing in your bin - unflattened boxes take up extra space which leaves less room for other recycling

• don’t leave extra waste beside a communal bin as this is fly-tipping and illegal. If caught doing this, the council says the fine will be £400

• if you have too much waste or recycling, the council is asking people to keep it until your next collection or take it to one of the 64 recycling points or Household Waste Recycling Sites

You can find more information at the council's recycling webpages.

Cllr Davis added: “We know and appreciate how extremely frustrating missed collections can be for everyone, and we’ll do everything possible to minimise the disruption while keeping our staff safe.

“I want to thank everyone for their understanding and co-operation over the next weeks.”