Traffic jam as Telford recycling centre opens for first time in over a month

A traffic jam formed at the entrance to a household recycling centre in Telford as residents queued to get in on its first day of being open in over a month.

Queues at Telford & Wrekin Council's Household Recycling Centre in Hortonwood
Queues at Telford & Wrekin Council's Household Recycling Centre in Hortonwood

Shropshire's recycling centres reopened today, having been closed since March to slow the spread of coronavirus. Telford & Wrekin Council's Household Recycling Centre in Hortonwood is one of the largest and a handful of people had arrived long before it opened at 9am to try to get in first.

By 9.15am dozens of cars snaked around the Hortonwood estate, with "strict limits" on the number of cars allowed on site at a time. The southern entrance to the centre was shut so as to reduce congestion and maintain access for other businesses.

Only one person per vehicle was allowed and they were told to make only one trip a day.

Queues to get onto the Household Recycling Centre in Hortonwood as it reopened today

On social media, some people spoke of waiting for almost an hour and warned others to stay away.

Some of those stuck in the jam were bemused, and entertained themselves on their phones to pass the time, while some felt the reopening could have been organised more sensibly, or that the tip could have stayed open despite the lockdown.

John Edwards from Wellington came to dump garden waste and fence panels which had accumulated from recent projects.

He came in his car but he said: "I have got a voucher for using a trailer, but the trailer was getting to the stage where it was virtually full so I've come in the car.

"It was quite a relief when I saw that it was reopening."

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Tim Palin, from Telford, was playing games on his phone while idling in the queue. He got to the centre at 8.20am, 40 minutes before it was due to open, to try and beat the queues and drop off the waste wood from a building project.

He was annoyed that he had been among one of the first to wait for more than half an hour before being informed that he would have to move to the opposite side of the centre and join the queue there, putting him further back than he was to begin with.

He said he welcomed the centre reopening but was sceptical about how long it was closed, even after DIY stores like B&Q had resumed trading.

A woman who gave her name as Maria came to the centre to drop off the waste from a recent house move before she started work for the day.

"We are moving house so we literally need to get rid of it all," she said.

"If we can't get rid of all the stuff we have to take it to the new house which isn't ideal."

Queues to get onto the Household Recycling Centre in Hortonwood

One man who gave his name as Michael said he needed to visit the tip after recently clearing out a house. He had arrived at 8.45am.

"When this all kicked off I was starting clearing a house," he said.

"I don't have a choice, I can't put anything new in the house until I've got rid of it.

"I don't think they should have closed it. They have caused this problem."

Fraser Watson waited for more than half an hour before getting into the centre.

He said: "I suppose that [the queues] are inevitable because of the shutdown.

"They could have opened slightly earlier. They have anticipated that there is going to be lots of people.

"Maybe lengthening opening hours [could have helped]?"

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