Hartlepool Borough Council suspended refuse and recycling collections until next week due to the severe winter weather.
Grey and green bins will not be emptied until Monday at the earliest, although arrangements for clearing the current backlog of collections are still being finalised.
The decision to suspend collections has been taken because many of the town’s residential streets are snowbound, making them difficult - and in some cases impossible – to access by the council’s large bin wagons.
It also means that the council has been able to re-direct staff resources to complement hard-pressed gritting teams and to carry out snow clearing operations across the town.
Denise Ogden, the Council’s Director of Regeneration and Neighbourhoods, said: “This decision wasn’t taken lightly, but it means that we can concentrate resources on keeping residents safe, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
“Staff are currently working round-the-clock and are stretched to the limit, so please bear with us during these unprecedented weather conditions. It is heartening, however, that there have been some very positive public messages on Facebook regarding the excellent job our staff are doing.”
“The weather we are experiencing is absolutely exceptional and certainly the worst I can recall in many years at Hartlepool Borough Council. I hope residents will understand the spirit in which this decision has been taken.
“As soon as we have finalised the arrangements for clearing the backlog of collections we will publicise them on the Council’s website, via its Facebook and Twitter accounts and in the local media.”
Residents are asked to keep checking the Council’s website – www.hartlepool.gov.uk – and the Hartlepool Borough Council Refuse and Recycling Facebook page. Updates will also be provided via the Council’s corporate Twitter account @HpoolCouncil and its Hartlepool Borough Council Information Facebook page.