COVID-19 pressures force garden waste collections to remain paused

The impact of COVID-19 pressures on workforce means the pause in green waste collections in Reading will remain in place temporarily.

The annual Christmas pause in collections began two weeks early on Monday 13 December to focus stretched resources on important residual waste, recycling and food waste over the festive period.

It was hoped that green waste collections could restart next week, but because of the unpredictable nature of staff absences due to the Omicron variant, it is too soon to restart the service with confidence of it remaining uninterrupted. The Council remains committed to resume the service as soon as possible and will review the situation weekly.

Existing green bin or bag subscribers will get an extension to their collection period for weeks lost last year during the summer and run up to Christmas, plus any weeks lost during the current pause.

With many residents keen to recycle their Christmas trees, Reading Borough Council has opened up Christmas tree collection centres across the borough until 23 January. Residents can take their trees along to one of our Christmas tree collection points at the following locations and the Council will dispose of it for free:

  • Mapledurham Playing Fields
  • Clayfield Copse
  • Hills Meadow
  • Rivermead Leisure Complex
  • Kensington Road Recreation Ground
  • Prospect Park
  • Meadway Recreation Ground
  • Tilehurst allotments, Armour Hill
  • Palmer Park Sports Stadium
  • Whitley Wood Recreation Ground
  • South Reading Leisure Centre

Residents with garden waste to dispose of during the extended pause in green bin collections are encouraged to book a slot at the re3 recycling centre.

Cllr Adele Barnett-Ward, Lead Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, said:

“We are seeing the increasing impact of the Omicron variant on staffing levels across all walks of life and the council is no different. I am a Green Waste customer myself so I do appreciate the inconvenience to subscribers and I apologise for that, but this is the best way to protect essential waste collection services as much as possible. I am very grateful to our waste collection team, who have been working under intense Covid pressures for nearly two years now, yet keep on working hard to ensure that everyone’s recycling, food waste, and grey bins get emptied.

“We will continue to monitor the situation weekly and I want to reassure subscribers that we are doing everything we can to get the service back running as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you are able to store your garden waste at home or book a slot at the re3 centre then please do so. As ever, thank you for your patience and your subscriptions will of course be extended to reflect the pause.”