The council does not anticipate reducing waste collections to fortnightly, despite having several staff members self-isolating.

Basingstoke council was forced to suspend garden waste collections last week after a positive case led to a number of staff having to self-isolate.

In April 2020, the authority was forced to reduce general waste (black bin) collections to fortnightly because of absences, in a highly controversial move.

But the councillor with responsibility for bin collections has said she does "not anticipate needing to do this again".

Cllr Hayley Eachus, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's cabinet member for recycling, waste and regulatory services, said: “At the height of the pandemic, we took the difficult decision to move to alternate weekly collections to maintain sustainable core waste and recycling collections for all residents, given the very high levels of staff illness and self-isolation at that time.

"We do not anticipate needing to do this again at this stage in the pandemic, unless we reach very high levels of staff absence alongside issues with HGV driver availability.

"The garden waste service was suspended to protect weekly waste and fortnightly recycling collections by focusing staff on these key services during the current staff absences.”

As previously reported, one member of staff tested positive after displaying no symptoms last week, meaning two separate crews that the individual worked with in the preceding days all had to isolate.

This led to staff shortages and BDBC taking the decision to suspend fortnightly garden waste collections across the borough for this week (w/c July 26).

The council also confirmed that no decision had yet been taken on whether the collections will resume for the next scheduled week (w/c August 9).

But Cllr Eachus said: "We hope to be able to collect garden waste on the next date due, if possible, but it will depend on staffing levels."