DORSET Council has announced that nine of its 10 household recycling centres (HRCs) are set to re-open on Monday, May 11 now that central government guidance on managing tips in England during the coronavirus pandemic has been updated.
However, the government guidance puts strong restrictions on use to help reduce non-essential journeys. Householders should only take waste to an HRC if it cannot be stored safely at home and no alternative disposal options are available.
Visitors should also expect long queues to access HRCs due to social distancing measures limiting the amount of people we can have on site at any one time.
Whilst most sites will re-open on Monday, May 11 there will be restrictions on site, and additional security staff will help to enforce these, plus traffic management measures. All usual waste types will be accepted, although re-use areas will remain closed.
Most recycling centres will be open from 9am to 6pm daily, except Sherborne HRC which will remain closed due to highway safety concerns.
To help reduce the need to travel to HRCs, householders should continue to maximise the use of their kerbside waste and recycling collection services. You can always put out additional recycling, glass and food waste at the kerbside provided it is separated properly and placed in sturdy containers that can be lifted by one person.
Garden waste service customers are reminded to continue using their kerbside bin for all their garden waste. The council has also resumed signing up new customers to the Garden Waste service.
Bulky waste removal services are also expected to fully resume on Monday, May 11 so the council urges those with large bulky items to contact its team in the first instance before considering a trip to a HRC.
Visitors will be accepted by vehicle only. There will be no pedestrian/cycle access for safety reasons.
Visitors are asked to note the following:
- Journeys to a HRC must only be undertaken if essential and your waste or recycling cannot be stored at home safely or disposed of safely by other means. This means waste that cannot be stored without causing risk of injury, health or harm. No other reason for the journey would be considered a legitimate purpose.
- If you can temporarily store your waste or recycling in a way that does not pose a risk to yours or others safety or human health, then you should continue to do so.
- Do not assume that any HRC is open before setting off. Please check the appropriate pages on the Dorset Council website and not Google, which may not have up to date information.
- Queues and waiting times to access each site will be much longer than usual, so expect significant delays. This is because there will be limits on the numbers of people that can be on site at any one time to maintain social distancing.
- You should not visit the HRC if you are unwell, as you should be following the 7-day self-isolation guidance, or if a member of your household is unwell and you should be following the 14 day stay at home guidance.
- Visitors to HRCs must always observe social distancing. If you do not comply with social distancing guidance, you will be asked to leave the HRC and the site may have to close temporarily.
- HRC staff will not be able to assist with carrying items. Do not take any items to the HRC that you can’t lift yourself, or with the aid of one other passenger from your vehicle.
- If you do travel to a HRC, please remember to stay in your vehicle while queuing to aid with social distancing. Please do not leave your vehicle until it is necessary to get out.
- Only one person should leave the vehicle to unload waste – a maximum of two if unloading heavy items.
- Household waste should be double-bagged and left for 72 hours before being taken to a HRC, and only if it cannot be collected at the kerbside.
- Although all usual waste and material types can be dropped off, please bring a maximum of two waste types per visit (e.g. garden waste and black bag waste).
- Reuse areas will remain closed in order to reduce item handling and ensure visitors spend no more time on site than is necessary.
- Charges still apply for some waste types, but contactless payments only – no cash.
- On your return from the HRC please remember not to touch your face and to wash your hands for 20 seconds on arrival at your destination.
- Someone will be in place at the entrance to each site to speak with visitors and advise on waiting times and procedures on site. If a queue becomes too long, some vehicles may be turned away and asked to return later. Traffic management plans will be in place to help reduce disruption on the local highways as much as possible.
Cllr Tony Alford, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services, said: “I’m pleased we have received the guidance needed from central government and we can offer an outlet at the HRCs for waste that may be posing a risk to some Dorset residents and cannot be collected at the kerbside.
“We have been working hard behind the scenes to plan how we will manage the re-opening of HRCs.
“I just want to emphasise, if you really need to take waste posing a hazard to a HRC, you must follow social-distancing guidelines at each site to protect the public and employees from the continuing pandemic.
“This will inevitably cause significant delays getting into each site, so we are kindly asking people who can continue to store waste safely to delay their trip to the recycling centre until restrictions are eased further.
“By working together to focus on essential waste, we can make sure the people who need to use our recycling centres are prioritised before services return to normal. I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding at this time.”