Floods – the waste impacts

Waste management may not be at the forefront of anyone's mind when the flood waters come calling, but the logistics of having to collect the rubbish from streets that resemble rivers and dispose of the millions of plastic water bottles left in the aftermath are far from plain sailing.

In Gloucester, where large areas of the city faced severe flooding, the authorities managed to keep emptying the bins.

“Refuse collection and recycling is functioning as normal where we can get to the properties, which is the bulk of them, and we’re in the process of preparing advice to people about plastic bottles,” Marcus Grodentz, a spokesman for Gloucester County Council told edie.

“Our water distribution points are at all of the main supermarkets which also have recycling centres, including facilities for recycling plastic bottles.

“We’ll be encouraging people to take their empty bottles back at the same time as going to collect water.

“We’ll need to look at collection rounds for this to keep them all ticking over.”

He said that waste management issues had not, understandably, been the council’s first priority in dealing with the crisis and the urgent aim had been ensuring people had a supply of fresh water.

“Thinking about what we did with the empty bottles afterwards was some way down the list,” said Mr Grodentz.

“That said, we’re now working our way down that list and are looking at how we will deal with this.”

Sam Bond

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