Blue bins will be emptied every fortnight as the council operates with a reduced number of staff due to the outbreak of coronavirus Covid-19.

The temporary move to fortnightly recycling rounds is designed to ensure black refuse bins continue to be collected every week.

Blue bins will be emptied on the usual collection day this week (beginning March 30) but will not be collected the following week (beginning April 6). Collections will resume on the week beginning April 13.

People who do not have blue bins can still put out their recycling in clear sacks.

Barnet Council says it will monitor Government updates and review the waste collection situation in mid-April.

Garden waste collections will be temporarily stopped from this weekend, and the launch of the £70 subscription service has been delayed.

Council leader Cllr Dan Thomas warned last week that “significant changes” to council services were likely as only the most essential staff are now able to travel due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

It comes after the Government imposed restrictions on movement and social distancing measures designed to contain the spread of the virus.

The council has also announced that the reuse and recycling centre in Summers Lane, North Finchley, will not be open to the public for the foreseeable future due to the Government’s guidance to avoid non-essential travel.

Councillor Dean Cohen, chairman of Barnet Council’s environment committee, said: “The council wants to ensure it can deliver priority services to its residents during these unprecedented times.

“We have reduced the frequency of blue bin recycling collections to fortnightly so that we can continue to provide essential black bin refuse collections.”

The Government has also issued waste disposal guidance for people who have been asked to self-isolate as a precaution or because they are confirmed to have Covid-19.

To protect bin collectors, they have been asked to put their waste into a plastic rubbish bag and tie it up when full. They should then put the plastic bag in a second bin bag and tie this up.

The double-bagged waste should then be stored in a suitable and secure place away from children and pets for at least 72 hours before putting it out for collection.

More information on the changes to the waste service is available here.