WINCHESTER civic chiefs have suspended green waste collections partly because of the 'pingdemic' of people having to self-isolate.

The city council says it does not have enough staff to run the garden waste collections and have stopped the service from yesterday through to Monday August 9. The black bin collection service is unaffected.

But householders will not lose out as the service will run for longer before the new financial starts and new payments have to be made.

In a statement, the council said: "Following talks with our waste operator, BIFFA, we can confirm that our garden waste collection service has been suspended from Friday 30 July until Monday 9 August.

"In common with many other local authorities, this suspension has become unavoidable due to a lack of staff arising from: a significant number of waste collection staff self-isolating in line with the present guidance to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and a current national shortage of HGV drivers.

"Customers will not lose out financially – we will be reviewing the annual contract duration with a view to extending collection for a period in February to reflect the collections lost due to the impacts of Covid-19 and the HGV driver shortage."

The statement advises people that the tips are still open. "For those wishing to dispose of garden waste prior to the service recommencing, the HWRCs remain open for bookings or garden waste can be retained until the service recommences.

"All our other waste collection services remain unaffected, and will continue to be collected as per the timetable. We thank customers for their patience, apologise for this unavoidable suspension and look forward to resuming our full service in due course."

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council took a similar decision last week for similar reasons.