Somerset Waste Partnership has suspended all garden waste collections across the county for six weeks from August 2.
The combination of a national shortage of large goods vehicle drivers and Covid self-isolation for staff has left services significantly disrupted.
The suspension of garden waste collections will allow Somerset Waste Partnership to redeploy staff to support vital rubbish and recycling services.
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Collections are expected to be suspended until Monday, September 13, although if this date changes subscribers will be notified.
Anyone with a subscription to the garden waste collection service will automatically have their subscription extended by eight weeks in recognition of the disruption at a key time of year for gardeners.
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A statement issued by Somerset Waste Partnership said: “We have reluctantly decided to suspend garden waste collections for six weeks from 2 August.
“Garden waste collections will continue up to and including Friday, July 30. We will not return for missed collections after that date.
“During the suspension, garden waste subscriptions cannot be started, garden waste sacks cannot be purchased, and collections of sacks cannot be booked.
“We are sincerely sorry for the recent disruption to all collections. We are working hard with our contractor SUEZ but unfortunately, there are no quick fixes.
“We know this is frustrating but would ask for your patience. Our crews are essential workers who have maintained services throughout the pandemic.”
What to do with garden waste now?
Somerset Waste Partnership is asking that people don’t mix it into rubbish or recycling containers as it will not collected.
Instead, they are asking for it to be taken to one of the 16 recycling sites that takes garden waste or makes compost.
The Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has firmly advised against having bonfires, given the risks of fires spreading, the likely nuisance for neighbours and the potential diversion of emergency services.