PUBLIC bins across Bolton are being covered up to prevent people from using them during the coronavirus outbreak.

Council bosses said people would be expected to 'take their rubbish home' as the country follows lockdown measures.

A spokesman for Bolton Council said: “Our priority is to continue providing essential public services wherever we possibly can, while at the same time trying to ensure the safety and welfare of our staff. Due to the coronavirus, staffing levels in some of our teams have been affected and we have had to take the decision to temporarily stop emptying public bins. We felt it was better to close bins, rather than risk them overflowing and causing a problem.

“We would ask people to please take their rubbish home and dispose of it accordingly. We really appreciate the public’s understanding and will continue to review the situation.”

Cllr David Greenhalgh wrote on Facebook: "The Council is doing it's very best to deliver as full a service as we possibly can but our workforce faces the same challenges, in that we have staff who are self-isolating, and inevitably we have to prioritise services.

"In terms of litter bins being taped up, that is amongst the services that we have had to suspend in order to continue others, but with the vast majority of shops closed and people told to stay at home, one would hope that the amount of people out and about who would have dropped litter in these bins, would be a lot less.

“I want to thank and praise the staff who are coming into work every day during this time to deliver these essential services, and end by saying I genuinely hope that instead of people finding fault, can we please come together, it can’t be ‘business as usual'. I'd love it to be, but it can't. 

"There's going to be some incredibly challenging weeks ahead, and quite possibly more services will be affected, but we are doing the best we can."