Harrow Council urged people to think about their waste habits during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure collection services run smoothly.

It said people should avoid large household clean outs, despite any extra spare time that has arisen as a result of government rules around staying at home as much as possible.

The council also advised residents to limit the amount of rubbish, recycling and food waste they produce as this will “make a real difference to maintaining a good service”.

It comes after the District Councils’ Network (DCN) said many local authorities could suffer from a “wave of waste” as people take the opportunity to tidy up their homes and gardens during the lockdown period.

Cllr Dan Humphreys, responsible for enhancing quality of life at DCN, said: “These are challenging times for everyone in the country right now, and all of our public services are being overstretched as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

“Make no mistake, councils and their contractors have plans in place to try and ensure that everyone’s bins are collected.

“But we would ask the public to play their part, too. Where possible we would ask residents to think twice about how much waste is put out – such a small step could make a huge difference.

“With millions safely staying at home, many producing more waste than normal, and a risk that our waste collection workforce suffers staff shortages, we have to be careful and prepared to manage a potential wave of waste.”

Regular and recycling bin collections in Harrow are operating as normal, but the garden waste collection service has been suspended.

The council also closed down its recycling centre in Forward Drive following government advice.

It urged residents to keep hold of large items such as furniture and mattresses until the outbreak has ended.

And it pleaded with people not to dispose of waste on a bonfire since “the smoke causes air pollution and has potential health effects for you and your neighbours”.