Garden waste collections in Thurrock are temporarily suspended from Thursday 7 January.
Cllr Aaron Watkins, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: "We appreciate how important our waste collection service is to our residents and understand that this brown bin suspension may well be inconvenient for some. The new government guidance, including the new requirement for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to once more shield, as well as the continued need for contacts of positive cases to self-isolate is having an impact. A few key members of staff, who are playing their part to fight the virus by following the advice stay at home under the new requirements, can have a significant impact on services.
"We are doing everything we can to resolve the operational challenges and extra pressures this presents, but for now we have taken the decision to temporarily halt garden waste collection in order to continue to be able to concentrate on providing the weekly refuse and recycling collections and we would ask residents either compost their food waste or place it into their normal waste bin. We are doing everything we can to support our staff to stay safe and ensure they are adhering to government guidance.
"Given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pressures the waste service are facing are constantly changing and this temporary change will be kept under review. We thank residents for your support and our crews for their dedication and hard work."
Blue and green/grey bin collections will continue weekly. From Thursday 7 January, please use your green or grey bin for food waste. Home composting is the best option for any garden waste during this period.
Please store your brown bins away from the street until notice is given about brown bin collections resuming. For more information, go to thurrock.gov.uk/waste