THE suspension of recycling collections has been extended until April 4.

Due to further strike action confirmed by the GMB Union, Wiltshire Council and its contractor Hills Municipal Collections have decided to suspend kerbside recycling collection services for a further two weeks.

Household and garden waste collections are not affected and will continue.

The GMB Union has confirmed it will be striking until at least April 2.

People are asked not to put their blue lidded bins and black boxes out until their next collection day from April 4 onwards. There will be no recycling collections until April 4.

When recycling services resume, waste crews will accept additional materials that don’t fit in blue lidded bins or black boxes, so people are asked to leave them in bags, bin bags and crates and they will be picked up if they are left next to their containers.

However, if people are unable to store additional materials at home they can take them to their nearest household recycling centre (HRC). All Wiltshire HRCs are operating as normal.

People are asked to put out their household and garden waste bins out on their normal collection days, and the council says if for any reason they aren’t emptied as scheduled then they will be the following day where possible.

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Waste, said: “This further strike action by the GMB union is hugely frustrating and unfortunately we have no other option but to suspend recycling collection until 4 April. We apologise for the inconvenience that this will cause people. Two more weeks of strikes by the GMB are even more disappointing considering that UNITE and UNISON members have accepted the pay offer on the table from Hills Municipal Collections.

“We know residents will be equally frustrated and view the strike extension and suspension of recycling collection as a very unwelcome development, but collecting household waste has to be our priority. Doing a mix and match service with garden waste and recycling would be a very complicated and a logistical challenge. We know that a month’s worth, or even more, of recycling waste will start to mount up, so please do visit our household recycling centres if you need to – they are open and operating as normal.

“We hope we don’t see any of the challenging scenes we’ve seen at various picket lines at the depots recently and that those workers who aren’t involved in the industrial action are able to carry out their roles as safely and with as little disruption as possible, so that household waste collections can take place throughout the county.

“This ongoing dispute is between the GMB Union and Hills Municipal Collections and it’s in everyone’s best interests that it can be resolved as quickly as possible. We continue to thank residents for their patience during this time.”