The new service will aim to dispose of excess rubbish and waste.
A new COVID-19 Waste Support Service and Helpline has been set up by Derry City and Strabane District Council.
The new system will be operational from Monday next, April 6, to assist in dealing with increasing requests from the public regarding excess refuse that has been accumulated as a result of the current emergency situation.
Karen Phillips, Director for Environment and Regeneration with Derry City and Strabane District Council, told councillors yesterday that the new service would include a dedicated helpline that would be manned, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, with a team of staff to process and categorise all calls.
The calls would be fed into a central system, that in turn will co-ordinate each request for collection by district ward, with each area being served on specific allocated days of the week.
It was outlined to members that only excess residual, green and garden waste would be collected, with no provision being made for bulky waste collections, which unfortunately cannot be collected during this emergency situation.
Collections would be carried out by area and on specific days of the week and only directly from domestic premises that have made pre-arranged collections with Council, with no kerbside waste being permitted.
It was reiterated to members that this service is an emergency response to assist in resolving the increased pressure on waste services and the public will be strongly advised that they must continue to fully utilise the existing refuse collection services that continue to operate as normal.
The council said they will continue to put a strong emphasis on the recycling message, re-enforcing the need for the public to continue to maximise the use of their blue and brown bins.
It is hoped that this additional service will assist in providing support to vulnerable members of the community and those with specific issues with medical or additional residual waste, such as larger families and will prevent fly-tipping.
She reassured members that refuse collection staff providing this service would be adhering to strict social distancing guidelines and health and safety measures. She said checks to identify members of the public who are self-isolating would be done by staff prior to the collection being arranged.
Members were informed that messaging and advice on double bagging also be communicated to those availing of the service, adding that the council would review the service on a daily basis and had the capacity to put additional resources in place according to demand.
It was also outlined to members that the new service, while being operational from next week, would take a number of days to roll out and the public would be encouraged to be patient and co-operate with council during this process.
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