Shropshire recycling centres to reopen – under strict rules
After repeated calls, Shropshire's recycling centres will reopen tomorrow - but under strict rules and only for essential use.
The sites, in Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Oswestry, Whitchurch, Craven Arms, and Hortonwood and Halesfield in Telford, have been closed since March as part of efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.
But, after getting the government go-ahead, they will reopen tomorrow from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.
Council officials have warned there are likely to be long queues for those using the sites and have also urged people only to use them for essential waste.
More Covid-19 coverage:
- See the latest coronavirus stories from Shropshire and beyond
- Coronavirus: Latest number of deaths and confirmed cases in Shropshire, Telford and Mid Wales
- Star Neighbours - how you can give and get help locally
It comes after concerns over an increase in fly-tipping and bonfires, due to people being unable to access the facilities.
There will be a series of conditions for those using the Veolia-managed sites, including no one with coronavirus symptoms, one person per vehicle, cars only, just one visit per day, and no trade or commercial waste being accepted.
Waste permits will also not be accepted, nor will asbestos, oil or chemicals.
People must also observe two-metre social distancing and staff will not able to help unload vehicles.
Those arriving on foot, with trailers, or in a van will be refused entry.
The sites are run on behalf of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Councils and people are being urged to check the restrictions on their websites before travelling.
Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for waste management, 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."
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 that, it’s not just a case of opening the gates, so again my thanks go to them.”
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 fly tipping.
"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 public to visit.
“We are asking all site users to support our hard working teams on the front line by following the guidance on their council’s webpage and any information or instructions provided at the site.”