From Monday, May 18, Northamptonshire County Council will re-open its Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) for the residents of Northamptonshire to dispose of essential household waste.
In line with guidance from DEFRA, the council is asking that only essential journeys to HWRCs be made, and only if waste or recycling cannot be stored safely at home without causing injury, harm or risk to health.
If waste can be temporarily stored in a way that does not pose a risk, then the council is asking people to keep it at home and not to make the journey to a HWRC.
Additionally – and in line with Public Health England guidance - residents who are vulnerable, or who are showing symptoms which may indicate coronavirus, should not visit household recycling centres.
Cllr Jason Smithers, county council cabinet member for highways and place, said: “We have been advised by the Government that Northamptonshire’s recycling centres can re-open.
"It’s important that while social distancing rules are still in place we do this in a co-ordinated way and as such we have a robust plan in place to help residents dispose of household waste whilst ensuring the safety of themselves and council staff.
"Because the demand for the centres is likely to initially be very high we would ask members of the public to only use the service if it is absolutely necessary.
“It’s also important that if they do go that they keep to social distancing rules for the safety of both themselves and the staff.”
The council is expecting the sites to be very busy and as they will be operating at reduced capacity to comply with social distancing rules, long queues are expected.
Social distancing measures also mean that unfortunately site staff will not be able to assist members of the public with carrying any waste, as they usually would do.
The social distancing measures will also apply for members of the public, which will mean that the number of vehicles on site at any one time will be restricted. It will also mean that usual parking bays may not be available, and each HWRC will have one-way systems in place for vehicles and pedestrians. On entering the site, council staff will give clear instructions.
With the anticipated traffic queues, officers will be on hand to help marshal traffic to ensure that no obstructions are caused.
As is usual at busy times, sites may have to close temporarily throughout the day if demand becomes too high, to enable safe operations and allow traffic to disperse from the highway.
Residents are advised to check the council’s website for details of what days and times their local HWRC will be open.