Residents will not have their garden waste collected for at least the next two weeks after several staff from the council's waste team were forced to self-isolate. 

Green bin collections will pause from Monday (July 19) in order to allow the authorities' remaining bin men to focus on emptying household waste, recycling and food waste instead. 

Reading Borough Council says the impact of covid-19 has led to a "significant reduction" in its number of waste drivers and loaders. 

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Adele Barnett-Ward, from Reading Borough Council, said: “We absolutely appreciate this is a busy time of year for gardeners and it will cause obvious inconvenience, but we are left with very little option but to focus remaining resources on ensuring residual, recycling and food waste collections can continue."

Residents who need to dispose of garden waste can book a slot at the Re3 centre on Island Road. 

More slots will be made available for those offloading their garden waste but residents must book online first. 

Subscribers to the green waste scheme will get an extension to their subscription period following the pause in collections.

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Cllr Barnett-Ward added: "Councils across the country are experiencing disruption to waste collection services caused by the increasing number of Covid cases and consequent rise in people having to self-isolate. In Reading, we are doing everything we can to keep essential services going for our residents and minimise disruption to collections.

“Pausing green waste collections will help our efforts to ensure we can concentrate on priority waste and recycling collections. So much has been going on behind the scenes to keep vital services going, such as working additional hours, moving drivers from other areas to work on collections, and redeploying office staff to support the frontline. I am proud of the efforts of the team.

“I would like to thank residents for their patience and understanding as we work towards resuming a full service to them as soon as possible, with garden waste subscriptions automatically extended to cover any weeks missed.”