Wandsworth residents are still waiting to see their Christmas trees because of a Covid staffing crisis.
Following the outbreak of the virus, festive firs were left in the street outside homes in south London after they were destroyed by workers from the special recycling service.
Wandsworth Borough Council, Tory-run, offers a complimentary service. People are asked to leave them in front of their bins beginning January 4.
Over a fortnight, however, 10,000 were still present and many are on the streets.
Many trees weren’t taken by families after they were told that their trees should be thrown out along with the usual garbage on their bin days.
Wandsworth was already faced with a daunting task because of the area it covers. It has around 100,000 trees that are collected every year.
MailOnline was told by a resident that they came to collect them free of cost. However, most residents had put them out many weeks before.
“Not everybody has enough space to stop them from the pavement, so there are many people who have left their stuff on the streets.
There are thousands of trees still uncollected weeks after Christmas.
The tree recycling scheme was only supposed to go on until January 14 but has been extended
Wandsworth Council had advised people not to cross the street, as this street did.
“People won’t put them back into their homes to store due to all the mess. It is a little bit of an ordeal.
Wandsworth’s New Year’s Eve collection was announced before 12th Night, when the decorations must be taken down.
They understood not everyone could be kept from following the guidance of its path.
According to the council, “Those who do not have front gardens may place them directly on the sidewalk in front of their homes but it must not be an obstruction.”
It added: ‘Residents are urged to put their tree out carefully so they do not cause an obstruction. Crews must be diverted from scheduled collection times to clear trees that block the pavements. This can lead to delays.
‘Please note it may not be the same lorry that collects your normal waste and recycling collection so please don’t worry if your bins are emptied and your recycling sacks taken away before your tree is collected.’
There are Christmas trees that remain on the Wandsworth streets, but they have not been collected.
Wandsworth had announced the collection program on New Year’s Eve, but Covid struck
Covid caused a shortage that prevented trees from being collected for recycling.
If Christmas trees can be taken out to be recycled they will still be useful.
They are placed in chippers if they don’t have any decorations before going to the depot for decomposition.
The compost can then be used as a mulch in gardens, public areas and on trails and parks.
Some places have trees planted at the bottom to provide habitats for wildlife.
Wandsworth Council said to MailOnline, that they hoped to have the remaining trees down to at most 8,000 by today.
One spokesperson stated that they expect to gather around 100k trees. The collection began on January 4, and we’ve collected about 90% so far.
‘Covid related staff shortages means the task is taking longer than we hoped to complete – hence the tweet to residents to please bear with us while we continue this work.
“With today’s collections it is likely to drop to between 5k and 7k.”