Cases of coronavirus among the contractor resposible for waste collections could lead to disruption to the service, South Hams district council has warned.

The council is advising of potential problems with recycling and waste collections after a number of drivers and crew have recently had to self-isolate.

A spokesperson for the council said: "FCC Environment (UK) Limited, which carries out the collections on behalf of the authority, has managed to secure enough additional temporary staff to keep as many scheduled collections happening as possible and these have been prioritised.

"However, with so many replacement drivers in place who are unfamiliar with the locality, there is potential for disruption to the collection of all types of waste. There will be only a limited service available for the emptying of recycling banks and delivery of bins and sacks.

"When the issue came to light, individual workers potentially affected were identified swiftly and removed from collections immediately to safeguard the public and the rest of the workforce."

Keith Baldry, the lead member for environment at South Hams District Council said: “This is a big blow, just as we were getting back to normal after the round changes. However, teams are out on all waste rounds and will do their best to make sure as many collections as possible are made on the scheduled collection days. Please can I urge residents to bear with us at this time. We sincerely wish the collection crews the best of luck and if any do fall ill, a quick recovery.”

The council also stated it was unable to take any reports of missed bins or sack collections. If any collections are missed, residents are advised to bring the bins or sacks back in until the next collection cycle. If necessary residents may take their recycling to the recycling centres. SHDC has said it will update its website with further information as it becomes available.