AMESBURY — Until further notice, residents must make sure all of their trash and recycling is in either a bin or a barrel when placing it on the curb. 

“There can’t be any loose items,” Public Works Director Rob Desmarais said. “You can’t have any bulk items. Some people like to stack cardboard on the side but you can’t do that. It has to be in a bin.”

Given the concerns about the COVID-19 virus, the city’s trash and recycling contractor, G. Mello Disposal Corp. will not pick up any loose items for the time being, he said.

“This is for the safety of the workers who want to handle as little as possible,” Desmarais said. “The virus stays on cardboard the longest. Individual pieces of cardboard and fabrics and other things that people are throwing out need to go into the bins so that the workers can control what they are grabbing. There will be no interruption in service but this is the only change.”

Desmarais added that trash or recycling does not need to be placed in separate bags but must be in some form of container.

Although the Public Works Department does not have any spare containers to offer, residents can still call the office at 978-388-8116.

“They can call us and we will deal out with it on a case-by-case basis,” Desmarais said. “If they have a real problem, they can call and we will try to sort it out.”

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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