Reopening Household Waste Recycling Centres

Reopening Household Waste Recycling Centres

13th of May, 2020

Please see the information below from Lancashire County Council:

Lancashire County Council will be reopening most of its recycling centres on Friday 15 May, after they had to be closed in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Due to the need to ensure social distancing for staff and visitors there will be a number of important changes to the way the sites operate.

Appointment system

  • People will need to make an appointment before visiting. This is necessary to manage what is likely to be very high demand and limit visitor numbers to ensure social distancing can be managed.
  • A booking system will go live on the morning of Wednesday 13 May allowing people to make appointments. Appointments can be made online via the council's website or by calling the customer service centre on 0300 123 6781.
  • People will be given a 30-minute window in which to visit, with the number of appointments available being limited to allow staff to check details on arrival and manage movements around the site to ensure social distancing. Appointments will be made available several days ahead, with new slots released each day.
  • People will be limited to one visit to one site per calendar week and will not be able to book multiple visits to different sites.
  • We will be closely monitoring how this new way of operating works in practice and making adjustments to allow more appointments, or limit them, as necessary.
  • People should only book an appointment if it's really essential that they dispose of excess waste. As the sites will not be operating at normal capacity, it will be preferable if people can continue to store any excess waste at home, or dispose of it using their normal doorstop bin collection. The bulky waste collections operated by some district and borough councils are another option people should consider.

Limitations on waste people can bring

  • People will be asked to only bring one type of waste per visit. Visitors will not be able to walk freely around the recycling centre as they could previously. This is because the sites have been reconfigured to ensure social distancing and visitors will be asked to drive up to the particular skip they need. 
  • People cannot bring construction and demolition waste, also known as inert waste, and plaster, plasterboard or asbestos. The usual permit system allowing people to bring limited amounts of this waste will not be operating.

Access by car only

  • People can only visit by car, with a complete ban on the use of all vans and trailers. Access to the sites will be controlled using vehicle registration numbers.

Large and bulky items

  • Site staff will not be able to help visitors carry large or bulky items due to the need to maintain social distancing. People must therefore be able to lift and dispose of any waste themselves, or with the help from a member of their household accompanying them.

Behaviour on site

  • People will be advised of the various restrictions in place as they book and it's vital that everyone takes the time to understand them.
  • A condition of visiting is that people observe these restrictions and respect our staff at all times.
  • We are asking people to please be kind to our staff and each other. Abusive or threatening behaviour will not be tolerated.
  • People must not visit if they have any symptoms of coronavirus or should be self-isolating.

Not all of our recycling centres will be reopening
The council is operating a slightly reduced network because each site now needs more staff to be able to operate safely and effectively. The 12 sites which will be open from Friday 15 May for anyone with an appointment are: Altham, Barnoldswick, Burscough, Burnley, Chorley, Clitheroe, Farington, Fleetwood, Lytham, Lancaster, Preston, and Skelmersdale. This ensures a good geographical spread of recycling centres across Lancashire. Each of these sites will open on the same days and during the same hours as under normal
circumstances. Full details available on the council's website.

Four sites - Carnforth, Garstang, Haslingden, and Longridge – will remain closed. These four sites
are among our quietest in terms of visitor numbers, have easily accessible alternative facilities or
present us with specific challenges in terms of operating safely while maintaining social distancing.
We intend to use what we learn from operating our other sites to consider how these sites can
also be reopened safely.

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