Redbridge households will no longer have recycling collected separately as the coronavirus crisis continues to limit services.
Separate recycling collections were suspended from Friday, March 27 and will instead be collected as part of normal rubbish at 5am.
Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said it was a “difficult decision” made to protect staff and that normal service would resume as soon as possible.
He reassured residents that recycling collected in this way would not end up in a landfill but instead be turned into refuse-derived fuel.
In a letter to residents, he wrote: “Recycling is really important to us as a council, however, in these difficult times we are unable to keep household rubbish and recycling separate.
“This is simply because we don’t have enough staff available to carry out all the collections safely.
“Sadly, many of our rubbish and recycling staff are having to self-isolate due to the COVID-19 national guidance.
“If you have the space to store your recycling, please hold onto it until the service resumes.”
The council have already moved rubbish collections to 5am and suspended garden and bulky waste collections until further notice.
Cllr Athwal added: “Our staff are doing a great job and I hope you’ll join me in thanking them. If you see them out, please give them a wave, they’ll appreciate it.”