Libraries and museums remain closed as more staff are trained to help collect trash

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is training additional staff to deal with potential absences for omicron variant disease.

This week, its libraries and museums remained closed, as staff moved to support other areas of the council’s operations.

Responding to a question in the wake of recent failed trash collections, a council spokesperson said it was monitoring the situation daily and had closed its libraries and museums to help support other areas.

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A spokesperson for Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “We continue to monitor the coronavirus situation on a daily basis and anticipate all eventualities.

“Our top priority is to ensure the continuity of essential counseling services and to support the NHS for the people of Stoke-on-Trent, especially as we go through winter.

“Since Christmas we’ve seen a small increase in staff needing to self-isolate, but the increase in absences is starting to increase as the Omicron wave hits the city.

“To date, all of our services are adapting. Our waste teams are collecting the largest quantities of waste disposed after Christmas.

“Our contact center is operating as usual, and our website and social media are continually updated with the latest information for residents. “

They added: “To help support essential services, local libraries and centers did not reopen as scheduled yesterday (January 4), and museums and parts of recreation services also remain closed.

“This allowed staff to volunteer to be redeployed to other services such as adult social care, waste collection, contact tracing and immunization rollout support across Stoke-on-Trent. .

“These temporary closures are being reviewed and the dates for the reopening of local libraries and centers will be announced as soon as possible.

Regarding garbage collection, the council said it had eight staff members off work due to coronavirus, but was working to ensure that garbage collection continued.

The council spokesperson added, “We have our full complement of 25 garbage teams today, collecting blue bins in Meir and Meir Park, and gray bins in the Chell area.

“We also have two teams finishing yesterday’s collections in the Meir North area and in the areas of Birches Head, Etruria, Joiners Square, Moorcroft, Penkhull and Stoke.

“Right now, eight staff members are absent from waste crews due to coronavirus, but we are managing to ensure that the garbage collection is done with staff employed by other departments.

“We have also started to train more staff, ready for should the number of coronavirus cases increase.

“Our teams generally collect around 22 tonnes of waste per wagon each day. Yesterday they were picking up around 32 tonnes per railcar.

“This means that in a typical day our teams were collecting around 550 tonnes of waste, but yesterday they collected 800 tonnes, which is 250 tonnes more.

“Unfortunately, our teams were unable to access all collections yesterday and we thank residents for their patience as we complete these collections today.”

Offering advice to affected residents, they said, “Residents can leave two extra bags with their bins for their first collection after Christmas time.

“But we ask all households to please support us while we finish this job and deal with the extra demand. We also encourage residents to visit the tip if they can. “

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