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People urged to double-bag coronavirus waste after used face masks found in bins

Birmingham City Council said its collection crew refused to pick up the rubbish at the block of flats.

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Face masks were found in open bin bags (Birmingham City Council/PA)

Face masks were found in open bin bags (Birmingham City Council/PA)

Face masks were found in open bin bags (Birmingham City Council/PA)

The discovery of used face masks in open bin bags has prompted a council to issue a plea to double-bag coronavirus-related waste.

Birmingham City Council said its collection crews refused to pick up the rubbish after they found the masks at a bin storage area at a block of flats in the city centre.

The Government issued advice that any Covid-19 related waste should be double-bagged and securely fastened before being put out for collection.

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The council’s collection crew refused to pick up the rubbish (Birmingham City Council/PA)

The council’s collection crew refused to pick up the rubbish (Birmingham City Council/PA)

The council’s collection crew refused to pick up the rubbish (Birmingham City Council/PA)

The council said it had made contact with the managing agent responsible for the block to ensure the situation is resolved and so the waste could be collected on Friday.

Councillor John O’Shea, cabinet member for street scene and parks, said: “I was shocked and saddened when I heard about this and saw the pictures that our crew had taken.

“It is always important to present our waste in the correct way for our crews to collect it – but in this current situation, it is absolutely critical to get it right.

“Our crews have the correct protective gear for their duties. Presenting open bags of rubbish with used face masks puts our hard-working frontline employees at risk as well as other residents in their block.

“It really is quite simple. If we do everything we can to stop the spread of coronavirus we will be protecting the NHS and saving lives.

“A small number of people in this isolated case are putting that at risk – and I hope that making the people of Birmingham aware of this ensures we all put out our waste safely.”

PA