The Local Government Association, which represents city halls, responded by issuing a warning that “burning household waste is a prosecutable offense”.
New government directions from the Ministry of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have said that city halls must “put public health first” during the coronavirus crisis.
He said black bag collections must move forward because “the accumulation of putrescible waste can be a risk to human health”, whose recycling had to take a back seat.
The government has said the guidelines for local English authorities are temporary and “may change to match the government’s latest advice on the coronavirus pandemic”.
“It is important that boards protect their regular collections of residual waste (black bag) and prevent waste from accumulating.”
He added: “Recycled materials play an important role in the health of the economy, providing raw materials for making new products, as well as protecting the environment.
“Local authorities should seek to maintain existing waste management services as much as possible, including the separate collection of food waste and dry recyclable materials.
“However, we recognize that the current coronavirus pandemic presents serious challenges and appreciate and therefore we expect that local authorities will have to take decisions if necessary to modify or close the services temporarily, taking into account their legal obligations. “
In case of staff shortages, garbage collectors should only focus on collecting black bag waste. He warned, “If garbage is not collected, complaints from residents could increase. “
He added: “Where separate food waste collections are in place, the frequency of collections could be reviewed to maintain reasonable service. “
Regarding food waste, the guidelines stated: “When food waste is collected weekly, these services should be maintained as far as possible so that putrescible waste is disposed of frequently.
“As a last resort, it may be necessary to temporarily stop collecting food waste and ask residents to put food waste in the same container as their residual waste and not to collect garden waste. “
In the event of a staff shortage, garbage pickers should focus on collecting waste for landfill. He warned, “If garbage is not collected, complaints from residents could increase. “
MP for Clive Betts, seasoned chairman of the select local government committee, said the councils were a “reasonable” way of dealing with the scale of the crisis.
Many boards were trying to continue the collections even though many had unemployed staff due to the Covid-19 epidemic, he said.
He said: “Recycling will have to drop – this is one of the consequences of the crisis which cannot be avoided”.
The Local Government Association warned households not to burn garbage if they lost their regular collections.
Cllr David Renard, spokesperson for the environment association, said: “Spilling flies is never acceptable and we urge people and businesses not to burn garden waste – composting or recycling where possible is better for the environment. “
He added, “Most of the sidewalk collection services run by city councils operate as usual. This is a testament to the hard work of the councils who strive to make the waste and recycling services operate as efficiently as possible and guarantee the safety of the workforce that performs this key public service.
“Any reduction in recycling collection services is a difficult decision for boards and will never be taken lightly.
“As these new guidelines rightly recognize, decisions about waste treatment and recycling services should always be based on local circumstances.
“Residents and businesses can help by following the advice of their local council and continuing to recycle where possible.”
A Defra spokesperson said, “It is essential that councils maintain collections of” black bags “and prevent household waste from accumulating.
“Our top priority is to protect public health, and these guidelines explain how boards can provide continuity of service as part of our broader efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.”
Sources said: “We encourage the main household waste recycling centers to remain open, where social distancing is possible, to avoid the spillage of flies and the accumulation of waste. “