North Devon Council is reassuring residents that its fortnightly garden waste collections are continuing despite the Coronavirus outbreak.

Even with the news that the Devon County Council-run recycling centres are re-opening on Monday 11 May, they will only accept essential items and long queues are likely while social distancing measures are in place. The definition of essential items are those that 'cannot be stored without causing a risk of injury, health or harm to the resident or other members of their household'.

Permits for garden waste collections cost £36 a year, or £3 per month, which is cheaper than a trip to the recycling centre for many residents; neighbours can even arrange to split the cost of a garden waste permit between them if they wish to share a green bin.

North Devon Council’s Lead Member for the Environment, Councillor Netti Pearson says: "Waste and recycling collections have continued to run as regularly as possible in the district, even though staffing levels have reduced by as much as 30%, with many crew members either poorly, self-isolating or unable to work due to childcare issues. I am pleased that we have still been able to offer a garden waste collection service during the Coronavirus outbreak. This is thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff who are working on the front line every day to collect everybody's waste. If you have had a missed collection, we appreciate that it can be frustrating and would ask for your patience and understanding at this unprecedented time."

Garden waste permits can be ordered and paid for online from the council website and will be posted out within 10 working days.