Kerbside residual and recycling collections are a high priority for the Government. There has not yet been a formal assessment made of the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on recycling rates in the UK or in Leicestershire. Publication of local authority waste data for England by Defra is on an annual basis and figures covering the period April 2020 to March 2021 are due to be published in November 2021.
However, a survey of local authorities by the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Transport and Planning indicates that most local authorities were able to maintain recycling collections to a near normal level. Both recycling and residual waste from households were reported by many authorities to be significantly higher than normal, but the effect of COVID-19 on recycling rates at this time is unknown.
At the start of lockdown in March, Defra officials worked with local authorities to help them continue their waste collections, including collections of recycling. We published guidance to help local authorities prioritise waste collection services and to keep their household waste and recycling centres open while observing social distancing guidance.