4 Mar 2022

Hamilton City Council reduces services as Omicron bites

8:24 am on 4 March 2022

Hamilton City Council is struggling to keep its services operating with burgeoning Omicron cases.

Hamilton Central Library

Hamilton Central Library. Photo: Supplied / Hamilton City Council

The Central Library will temporarily close from this Saturday due to staff shortages, while yesterday food scrap collections were also suspended.

General community manager Helen Paki said the council had planned for staff shortages but not to this extent.

"Our current use of staff from other roles to support the front-line team is no longer able to cover the shortages," Paki said.

"Closing the Central Library allows us to spread our staff, who are still able to work, through our other five community libraries and keep library services open to as many Hamiltonians as possible."

Staffing for the libraries will be reviewed in a week, while the food scraps collection would be reinstated as soon as staffing levels allowed.

Rubbish and Recycling Manager Trent Fowles said the shortage in staff also means there would likely be delays for glass collections for the next couple of days, but the team were working hard to do what they could to continue to collecting.

"If you have capacity, food scraps can be stored in a freezer, or can be home composted (excluding meat, bones and shells). If none of these options work, you can put food scraps in the red rubbish bin," Fowles said.

Contractors were short on staff and as a result, glass would not be sorted at the kerb, but would instead be recycled as mixed coloured glass, he said.

Other services, like the connection of new drinking water, stormwater and wastewater services, were delayed.

The current timeframe for new connections is 12-16 weeks, from the date an application is sent to completion.