Test Valley Borough Council’s environmental chief has praised the authority’s waste collection and street scene teams for coping with the extra demands through the Covid-19 pandemic.
More than 12 weeks have passed since central government announced the nationwide lockdown. With residents told to stay at home, more waste has been produced across Test Valley as a result. Despite these challenges, and having to adapt to a safer way of working, the council’s environmental service has continued its vital collections.
Garden waste has increased by almost one third and glass recycling has risen by more than 40 per cent compared to the same the same period last year. The council’s bulky waste collection service has also been used, with 26 tonnes of bulky waste collected following the closure of the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC).
In response, employees have been met with rainbow drawings, thank you letters and children’s colourings from all across the borough.
Now, the council’s environmental portfolio holder, councillor Alison Johnston, has thanked staff for being able to keep up with increasing demand during a difficult few months. Councillor Alison Johnston, said, “Our teams have coped extremely well over the past 12 weeks with such a significant increase in glass and garden waste collections.
“I would like to say a big thank you to residents for their support and for continuing to recycle their glass and garden waste during this time. It has also been great to see that the council’s bulky waste collection service has been utilised following the temporary closure of HWRCs.
“It is fantastic that the council has been able to continue recycling so many materials and our teams have taken it in their stride despite the volume of work created as a result.”
The service also oversees the borough’s grounds maintenance and street cleaning operations, with work having continued to ensure that residents could make the most of the borough’s green spaces for exercise. Staff also undertook essential work to ensure pathways and other public routes were maintained as much as possible.
The teams in Andover who are deployed from the council’s Portway Depot are pleased with the recognition. From Round 3 in Andover Layton Phillips said, “We want to thank residents for their lovely notes and messages through the lockdown period. It it’s an honour to be recognised – it keeps us going – just like taking part in Andover Radio’s Mystery Year every morning, where me, Gruff and Marv are continually the champions.”
Cllr Phil North, leader of Test Valley Borough Council, added, “Council employees have worked extremely hard to adapt to new ways of working during the pandemic and I am pleased that our services have been largely undisrupted.
“The environmental service has been very much the face of the authority throughout lockdown and I’m delighted we have been able to provide a full waste collection service to residents throughout the pandemic. That’s testament to the exceptional efforts of our staff.”