UPDATED: Household Recycling Centres to re-open across Cambridgeshire for essential use only

We are working with Cambridgeshire County Council to put plans in place to re-open Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) from Monday 11 May 2020 for essential use only. For more information, please visit Cambridgeshire County Council's website and read their news update.

It is the Council’s intention to open all nine of its sites.

The Council's plans will make sure that visits to the HRC are safe for residents as well as for employees - with measures in place to ensure social distancing on site. The plans have been prepared jointly with the public health team at the council.

Each of the nine HRCs in the county also has a detailed traffic management plan, drawn up in partnership with Skanska and in consultation with Cambridgeshire Constabulary, to limit the impact on roads around each site.

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick's statements over the weekend gave councils in England and Wales the green light to plan site openings as part of a gradual easing of government lockdown measures.

Further details are provided by Cambridgeshire County Council about what each Cambridgeshire site will receive, however some of the key conditions of opening include:

  • A limit to vehicle numbers on site - in the same way as limits on customers in supermarkets
  • No more than two adults to be allowed to unload any one vehicle
  • No staff assistance to unload vehicles
  • No vans or trailers that require a permit

It is advised that journeys to Household Recycling Centres should only be undertaken if waste or recycling cannot be stored at home without causing risk of injury or harm to health.

People who must continue to stay away from these sites are those who are or have anyone in their household, suffering from Covid-19 symptoms, or have been diagnosed as having the virus.

In the meantime, please hold on to the items you were planning to take to your local HRC until they re-open.

During this time, the Council is asking residents to act responsibly and not place items such as DIY waste, excess garden waste or excess recycling into their kerbside general rubbish collection. This will take up space in the collection vehicles needed for general household rubbish.

If you or anyone in your home is self-isolating or confirmed to have Coronavirus, the Council has advised that all personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.

COUNCIL UPDATE: 

Household Recycling Centres will be open on Monday for essential use only

The county’s Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) will be open on Monday (11 May) for residents who have essential waste that cannot be stored safely at home. The recycling centres will open their doors for their usual summer hours.

 

Think before you visit

  • Only visit if it is essential - Residents should only visit a Household Recycling Centre if essential and if you cannot minimise your waste, store it at home safely, or use alternative kerbside or bulky waste collections. Further Government advice is here (paragraph 1.1).
  • Covid-19 infected waste - You must not bring any waste which could be infected with Covid-19. This includes disposed of PPE waste or general household waste if you have been suffering from Covid-19 symptoms. These bags should be tied securely, placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being disposed of in your kerbside collection.
  • Do not attend if you or your household are suffering from Covid-19 symptoms - If you or anyone in your home have related symptoms or are suffering from Covid-19 you must not visit any of the Household Recycling Centres under any circumstances.
  • Vans/trailers/permit holders - There will be a delay before we are able to accept vans and trailers that require a permit, this includes current permit holders. This is in place to stop large loads from coming in and slowing down the operations. It will be reviewed after two weeks. Please don’t use the Household Recycling Centres until you are advised to do so.
  • Are you a Cambridgeshire resident? - Please note that the Household Recycling Centres are for the use of Cambridgeshire residents only. If you need to visit the site, please bring proof of your address (utility bill, council tax bill, driving licence or similar) in case you are asked to provide it.
  • Please avoid peak times - Our traffic management is unable to allow excessive queuing, so you may be turned away and asked to return later if it is busy. To try and avoid this, we ask residents to plan their journeys away from the anticipated peak times of 9am to 10am, noon until 1pm and 5pm to 6pm.

 

How we’re planning to make your essential journey safe for you and for staff

  • Social distancing measures will be in place – Social distancing of two metres will be enforced, with clear signage and additional staff directing and instructing from a distance.
  • Limited vehicles on site – Social distancing means that sites cannot accept their usual number of vehicles and so we will be required to have a limited number of vehicles on site at any one time.
  • Maximum of two adults unloading the vehicle - Preferably only one adult should be outside a vehicle. A maximum of two adults will be allowed outside a vehicle where it is necessary to unload large or bulky items as staff cannot assist. Children must remain in the vehicle at all times.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available on each site - This will be for residents to use before and after they deposit their waste and recyclables.
  • Staff will be unable to help people unload vehicles – This is to protect both users and our staff. Due to this, our normal advice to users to wear sturdy shoes and sturdy gloves applies to avoid injury.
  • No pedestrian access onto site - We will review this in the coming weeks.

 

Things we can and can’t accept

We can accept all materials as normal, apart from:

  • Covid-19 infected waste - You must not bring any waste which could be infected with Covid-19. This includes disposed of PPE waste or general household waste if you have been suffering from Covid-19 symptoms. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being disposed of in your kerbside collection.
  • Textiles/Shoes/TV/computer monitors and paint - We cannot accept these items at the moment, because the organisations that collect these are not operating. We will be reviewing this on an ongoing basis.
  • Items for reuse and sale – These areas are closed to maintain social distancing guidelines between households. This will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

This decision to open the Household Recycling Centres for essential use only follows guidance from the Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which has now given councils permission to re-open these facilities as part of a gradual easing of current government lockdown restrictions. Further Government advice is here (paragraph 1.1)

Councillor Steve Count, leader at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We’re asking residents to be sensible and to stay at home where they can, but we recognise that some residents do have waste they need to dispose of urgently.

“The Government guidance makes it clear that residents should only make a trip to a Household Recycling Centres if the items cannot be safely stored at home and that, where possible, residents should continue to stay at home and either minimise their waste or use kerbside collections.”

The plans to make sure visits to the Household Recycling Centres are safe for staff and employees have been drawn up by Cambridgeshire County Council, together with its site operators Amey and its public health teams. A detailed traffic management plan has also been drawn up in consultation with Cambridgeshire Constabulary to limit the impact on surrounding roads.

 

Social Media Content

Social media content will be broadcast on the council’s Facebook and Twitter channels throughout the Bank Holiday weekend and next week. It will incorporate general messages from the press release above and will also make use of the following infographic to give residents advice ‘at a glance’.