Recycling trolleys and food waste bins will no longer be collected in East Ayrshire as the region goes into coronavirus lockdown.

Meanwhile, the local authority has vowed it will not take legal action against those who cannot pay council tax during the health crisis. People can sign up for reduced bills if they have lost jobs.

Councillor Barry Douglas (Labour), who has been inundated with queries from residents, said: “People are worried and upset.

“They don’t know what is happening. The council’s priority has to be the people who need help.”

Easing folk’s worries over council tax, Councillor Douglas added: “Council tax bills were recently issued and this will be a cause for concern for many people.

“The council will be sympathetic to people’s circumstances and can also give a payment holiday or period of reduced payments if that would be helpful. We will not be pursuing legal action against people who cannot pay as a result of this emergency.”

Lorry bins are operating with fewer staff as people go into isolation as a result of the outbreak.

Residents are asked to place food scraps in their general waste bins, which will be collected on the normal days. The recycling centres in Western Road, Kilmarnock and Garlaff, Cumnock have now closed and brown bins are no longer lifted.

An East Ayrshire Council statement said: “Up to three additional bags will be uplifted as well as your general waste bin. Please do not place any bulky household items beside your bin as these will not be uplifted.”

People are advised to rinse recyclable containers and store them at home until bin lorries start up full service again.

The council statement continued: “As you will understand, we have had to make significant changes to the way we deliver our services due to the current situation.

“We have therefore had to make decisions that will allow us to continue to deliver essential services alongside ensuring that public health protection is the main priority.”

Check out the council website for more details on council tax reduction, call (01563) 554400 or email