Residents urged to follow guidance over trips to recycling centres during the bank holiday weekend
Essex County Council is thanking residents for showing patience and understanding during the first week of recycling centres reopening following the COVID-19 lockdown and is asking for this spirit to continue over the upcoming bank holiday weekend.
15 recycling centres in Essex reopened on Monday, 18th May.
New restrictions and strict social distancing controls are in place to ensure the safety of residents and site staff. These restrictions include limiting the number of cars on site at any one time.
These necessary restrictions, together with some residents using the centres when perhaps the don’t need to, have caused long queues to form at some recycling centres, with waiting times of between one and three hours being reported.
Recycling centre staff report the majority of Essex residents visiting using the recycling centres have shown patience, understanding and good humour.
As the bank holiday weekend approaches – traditionally the time for a spring clean clear out - Essex County Council is repeating the call for residents to make a decision if the household waste they have really needs to go to the recycling centre right now, or if it can be stored safely until recycling centres return to normal.
If it does need to go to the recycling centre, residents must be aware there will be a long wait.
The safest way to get rid of your waste and recycling is using your kerbside collection. A visit to a recycling centre is only essential where there is no alternative available.
Any residents showing symptoms of COVID-19, self-isolating or shielding should not visit any recycling centre and should follow advice from Public Health England.
Cllr Simon Walsh, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for the Environment and Climate Change Action, said: “The opening of the recycling centres has gone better than we expected because of your help.
“Reports coming back to me have been very positive, with users and staff saying it’s generally all going well, despite being very busy.”
“I want to thank the people of Essex for their patience whilst we got ready to reopen the County's recycling centres. A good deal of work was needed to ensure social distancing could safely be achieved. This involved marking out the parking bays, painting footprints on the ground to indicate where users can stand when depositing their waste, and a thousand extra information signs.
“Our priority remains the same - we must ensure the safety of residents and site staff, which is why a number of recycling centres are unable to reopen at this time.
“Now we have the bank holiday upon us. I want to repeat my call for residents to make a judgement on whether they really need to visit a recycling centre.
“There will be queues. I would urge, if you are able, to wait a little while longer as the sites will become less busy, and this will make your visit a better experience for you. If you can dispose of your rubbish using the kerbside collections, then please do so, and only consider using the recycling centre if the waste you have is becoming hazardous or is a safety issue.”
“I must stress the importance of only making an essential visit when absolutely necessary. By coming to the sites you’re adding to local traffic and in some cases preventing people being able to get to businesses and shops.”
A full list of which recycling centres are open, advice for essential recycling visits and what to expect when visit a recycling centre can be found here: https://www.essex.gov.uk/news/appeal-for-residents-to-make-a-common-sense-judgement-as-essex-recycling