04/05/2020 - Permalink

Coronavirus: Household recycling centres to reopen for essential use

Related topics: Highways, transport and environmental maintenance / Partner organisations / Public protection
The recycling centres in Whitchurch, Bridgnorth and Oswestry

The household recycling centres in Whitchurch, Bridgnorth and Oswestry

Household recycling centres (HRCs) will be reopened across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin from Tuesday 5 May 2020 – but with strict rules in place to ensure the safety of the public and staff. 

Veolia, the UK’s leading resource management company, is opening its seven sites across the county for essential use only.

Based on its UK-wide experience operating HRC sites, and following Government and industry guidance, Veolia has worked closely with Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council to agree a carefully-managed approach to ensuring visitor and staff safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rules in place will include:

  • Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or is self-isolating MUST NOT visit an HRC site.
  • A strict limit to the number of cars allowed on site at any one time.
  • Only one person per car.
  • Only cars will be admitted. No trailers or vans of any sort will be allowed.
  • Waste permits will not be accepted.
  • One visit will be allowed per day.
  • No trade or commercial waste will be accepted.
  • Asbestos, oils, chemicals and paints will not be accepted. They will need to be stored safely at home until we are able to safely process them. We will publicise when we are able to accept these materials.
  • The public must respect the strict two-metre rule, both from staff and other site users.
  • Veolia staff will be unable to assist with unloading vehicles.
  • Pedestrians walking in with waste will not be permitted.
  • Use of the sites is limited to residents of Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin only.

Further guidance will be available via council websites. Residents are advised to check their local council website and social media channels before they travel, as rules may be subject to change.

Veolia operates two HRCs in Telford and Wrekin – at Hortonwood and Halesfield – and it runs sites in Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Oswestry, Whitchurch and Craven Arms for Shropshire Council. Sites will initially be open from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.

Richard Kirkman, Veolia’s Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, said:

“Veolia understands that the HRC network is very important to the community. We want to be able to help residents who cannot keep their waste at home safely, help to ease the pressure on local kerbside collections, and discourage flytipping. We have worked very hard with Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council to carefully plan the reopening of the sites to ensure they are a safe place to work for our team and for the public to visit.

“We are asking all site users to support our hard-working teams on the frontline by following the guidance on their council’s webpage and any information or instructions provided at the site.”

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for waste, said:

“Following Government guidance we’ve put in place some practical arrangements that mean we can open our household recycling centres in Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Craven Arms, Oswestry and Whitchurch from Tuesday. We know that this will be welcomed by many people, but it’s important to stress that this is to allow people to dispose of essential waste only.

“The health and safety of site staff and visitors is our top priority, so we urge people to only visit the sites if it is, indeed, essential, and to ensure that they read and follow the new instructions for visitors.

“In the first few days we anticipate that there could be long queues and significant delays, so we ask people to carefully consider whether their visit is necessary. We’ll be monitoring use and compliance closely, and will obviously review or adjust our procedures if required.

“Our waste collection and recycling collection services continue to operate as normal, so we ask people to continue putting out their waste and recycling for collection, and to hold onto any other waste until it is safe for us to open the recycling centres as normal.”

Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said:

“HRC sites reopening will be welcomed by many people, but it won’t quite be business as usual, so please do expect changes. Government rules on essential journeys and two metre distancing still apply. The site rules that Veolia has put in place to facilitate the reopening are needed for everyone’s safety. The sites are going to be busy. We will have our traffic management team on hand to help, but if you can store waste safely until the service is fully operational, please do. If you can’t, please be prepared for queues.

“I would also like to thank our teams and Veolia for their hard work in getting to this point. Reopening the sites has taken a lot of planning, it’s not just a case of opening the gates; so again, my thanks go to them.”

It is expected that all sites will be extremely busy, so be prepared to queue for long periods of time to gain access to the HRCs and do please be patient.

Veolia and the councils are hoping that there will be no further disruption to the opening times of the HRCs, but this will be dependent on staffing levels.

For residents in the rest of Shropshire visit www.shropshire.gov.uk/recycling-and-rubbish/household-recycling-centres

For residents in Telford and Wrekin visit www.telford.gov.uk/hrc

Further information

Households that are self-isolating should follow the Government’s ‘Stay at home’ advice which states:

  • Store personal waste such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths securely within disposable rubbish bags.
  • Place these bags into another bag, tied securely and keep separate from other waste.
  • These bags should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external general waste bin.

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This update includes the day’s key Shropshire Council news, and some key news from our partners, relating to coronavirus-linked issues. Please click here to sign up for the updates.

Please do encourage your family and friends to sign up to the updates too. This will help us keep everyone up to date with the rapidly-evolving crisis.