While garden waste collections have been cancelled across the country for the foreseeable, most other waste collections are still happening as usual. This is because, while there is a health crisis happening, we can't have our household waste piling up and causing further health issues.
If you, as far as you are aware, don't currently have the COVID-19 virus, then you are able to continue as normal with your household waste.
However, what is the protocol regarding household rubbish for when you do have the virus?
We've put together this article to explain everything you need to know.
In the UK right now, if you start to feel unwell with Coronavirus symptoms — namely, a temperature and a persistent cough — then you are to remain in your house and self-isolate for seven days. The self-isolation will then continue as long as the symptoms do if that is beyond seven days.
If you live with others, then they too will need to self-isolate.
Testing isn't currently available for those self-isolating, and so it is always best to assume you have the virus if you have the symptoms.
During self-isolation with symptoms, you will, of course, continue to create waste like normal, except this waste could be contaminated with the virus. Used tissues and disposable cloths and face masks are particularly high risk, for example.
To protect the rest of your household and your council's household waste collection teams, please do the following, as recommended by Her Majesty's Government:
If you have been tested for the Coronavirus and end up receiving a negative result while storing waste for the 72 hours, you may immediately move the waste and place it in your wheelie bin.
While the Government hasn't mentioned this, you may personally wish to keep your wheelie bin clean during lockdown if you don't have COVID-19 (if you do, stay indoors).
This would be good for both your own peace of mind and to protect your council's waste management team in case of any unknown contamination.
We wrote a whole article about cleaning your wheelie bin but, in summary, you'd be best to use warm soapy water for the initial clean, followed by an antibacterial wash with a textured sponge.
Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.