THE fortnightly collection of garden waste is set to resume in west Cheshire, the council has confirmed.

Collections were suspended in March at the start of the coronavirus lockdown after levels of sickness among staff increased.

Cheshire West and Chester Council made the decision to stop garden waste collections to ensure that domestic waste and recycling services could continue as normal.

But as staff sickness levels have fallen in recent weeks and more staff are now available, collections will resume from Thursday, June 4.

Cllr Karen Shore, deputy council leader and cabinet member for environment, highways and strategic transport, said: “We recognise that the garden waste service is important to our residents, especially during a period of good weather during the lockdown when many people have been spending time in their gardens.

“Following a reduction in staffing levels, it was a necessary decision to postpone this service to ensure there was enough staff available to continue collecting kerbside waste and recycling while socially distancing.

“It is good news that coronavirus-related absence levels have dropped, and we have the workforce available to start collecting garden waste again.

“Please tell your neighbours, friends and family so they are aware of the restart date and do not miss the first collection.

“We recognise the inconvenience this has caused, and I would like to thank everyone for your patience.”

Collections will return to the previously advertised schedule and residents are advised to have their bin out by 7am on collection day.

Residents are also asked not to overfill bins or leave garden waste at the side, as the council says that anything not in a bin will not be collected.

Household waste and recycling collections will continue as normal.

The council says it will continue to monitor the national coronavirus risk rating, infection rate, and the availability of its staff in the weeks to come to ensure all services can continue while ensuring staff safety.