Household Recycling Centres (HRCs), colloquially known to us as tips, reopen in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin tomorrow morning at 9am. This is a welcome move as it is inevitable the longer they are closed, the more fly-tipping we will see. Most fly-tipping is on private land so is not reported to the council.
Like everything these days, the HRCs will be subject to social distancing. They will be open 9am-5pm, seven days a week. No vans allowed. Expect long queues, especially in the first few days of reopening and over the bank holiday weekend.
Normal bin days this week. Collections will be one day later next week.
It is important that our recycling centres reopen. Although Shropshire Council says there has been no significant increase in fly-tipping during the lockdown. But council statistics on fly-tipping are never the full story. In rural areas, most fly-tipping, especially larger scale dumping, is on farmland and in woodland. Councils only are only responsible for tipping on public land, including on the highway. For that reason, only five of the 1,035 fly-tipping incidents recorded by Shropshire Council in 2018-19 were on agricultural land. Farmers know they will have to pay to clear up any fly-tipping themselves.
Everyone who has been working hard decluttering and decorating their homes in the six weeks of lockdown will be grateful for a reopening of the HRCs.
Defra published guidelines on waste handing during Covid-19 on 7 April. Veolia published guidelines for using Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) during the Covid-19 emergency on 20 April. Robert Jenrick, one of the ministers responsible for waste, urged councils to prepare for reopening on 28 April.
Veolia has kept its HWRCs open in Sheffield throughout and its Merseyside tips reopen today. HWRCs in Manchester reopened yesterday, and Hampshire and Nortumberland last week. Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin follow suit tomorrow.
The rules for using HRCs have been set out by the councils. There is a lack of clarity on whether visitors will need to show documentation of their address on arrival. It would sensible to take a document showing your address because people from outside Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin will not be allowed into HRCs.
It should go without saying that anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms or is self-isolating must not visit HRCs. The public must respect the two-metre rule, both from staff and other site users.
Only cars will be admitted. There is a strict limit of one person per car. Veolia staff will not assist with unloading vehicles.
One visit will be allowed each day. A limit to the number of cars allowed on site at any one time will be in place.
No trailers or vans, even small vans, will be let into the HRCs. Waste permits will not be accepted. No trade or commercial waste will be accepted.
Asbestos, oils, chemicals and paints must not be taken to the HRCs and should be stored safely at home until Veolia is able to safely process them.