Residents get wheelie bin warning as rubbish 'freezes solid' - and there could be snow on Sunday
It has been so cold that the contents of many wheelie bins have been frozen solid and they could not be emptied by waste crews, says a council.
If residents find rock-solid rubbish in their bins instead of empty ones, Shropshire Council says it will collect them on the next scheduled collection day.
A council spokesperson said: "Due to the current cold weather conditions the contents of many wheelie bins have frozen, meaning our crews have been unable to empty them.
"If we’ve been unable to empty any of your bins please take them back in and put them out again on your next scheduled collection day."
The bad news - if you hate the cold - is that the Met Office expects the weather this weekend will remain cold with widespread overnight frosts, and patchy freezing fog.
And there's the chance of snow in the Midlands on Sunday morning, experts say.
Met Office chief meteorologist Andy Page said: “A low pressure system will bring less cold, but more unsettled weather for southern parts of the UK on Sunday.
"It will be a cloudier day with some rain, but also a chance of snow at first over the Midlands.
"It will be brighter in the north, but still with a risk of showers in coastal areas. Still feeling cold away from the southwest, with temperatures once again in low-single figures.
“There continues to be some uncertainty over the exact conditions for the start of next week. While milder air - with some rain and possibly snow - is likely for the southern half of the UK on Monday, the weather models do not agree on how far north this mild air might go. There are several possible solutions.”
Already the cold weather has triggered heating payments to people on certain benefits and councils have activated Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) to ensure those sleeping rough have a warm place to sleep.
SWEP, which forms part of the council’s annual cold weather provision, aims to get people off the streets during periods of severe weather, by providing emergency accommodation to anyone sleeping rough.
With temperatures dropping to as low as -6C in some areas of Shropshire this week, the council’s teams have been working throughout the evening visiting rough sleepers across the county to offer accommodation and warm food and drinks.
Councillor Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for housing and assets, said: “We know the winter months can be extremely challenging for many people, especially those who are rough sleeping.
“We want to remind people of the support available for those sleeping rough. Each year, our Cold Weather Provision provides emergency overnight accommodation so that people don’t have to sleep outside in the winter weather.
“Those who are sleeping rough will have access to hot food, support and a warm place to stay both day and night when the cold winter temperatures kick in. Our officers will also work intensively with people who are rough sleeping or have no other accommodation and try to find them more permanent accommodation.
“The provision is available throughout the winter months even if an individual has refused an offer (or a few) previously. For those who refuse, there is a statutory duty on the council to provide an offer of SWEP during times when the weather is considered severe.”