Waste recycling centres across Staffordshire set to reopen

STAFFORDSHIRE'S household waste recycling centres are to reopen next Thursday (May 14), following concerns expressed about increased fly-tipping during lockdown. Staffordshire County Council closed its 14 sites in March after social distancing measures were introduced as part of lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic. County Council Labour Group leader Charlotte Atkins, the former Staffordshire Moorlands MP, raised the issue at a recent meeting. She told fellow councillors she believed it was 'perfectly possible' for tips to open and for social distancing to be maintained. Sites that would normally be shut on a Thursday will also be open on May 14, with all sites reverting to their normal hours from Monday, May 18. To ensure the safety of the public and staff, the centres will be open for essential use only, and clear and simple rules will be put in place for visitors. More information about opening times and services can be found here, or by searching for ‘household waste recycling centres’ on the county council website www.staffordshire.gov.uk. Mark Deaville, Staffordshire County Council cabinet member for Commercial, said: “Closing the sites when the Government banned non-essential travel protected staff and public, and reduced the pressure on the NHS. I want to thank all residents for their patience during this time. “Now that pressure is easing we are able to reopen the sites, but it will have to be in a controlled way to comply with Government guidance on social distancing. “That means we won’t be able to offer a full service and will have to restrict the number of vehicles allowed on a site at one time. “Inevitably that means there may be queues and we ask people to remain patient and remember that site staff are doing their best in what remain difficult circumstances.” Although sites are reopening, should bear in mind the following: * Only visit if it is essential as initial demand will be high; * No vans, trailers or flatbed trucks will be allowed on sites until further notice; * One person per vehicle * Access will be by car only. No pedestrians allowed * A strict, two-metre distance rule will always be in place * Materials such as asbestos, oils and paints cannot be accepted at this stage; * Only bring items that you can safely load and unload yourself. Staff will be unable to help carry heavy items as it will break social distancing rules; * Allow time for queueing. Coun Deaville added: “On a normal day we would handle around 3,000 visits to our sites, but after several weeks of people doing jobs around the home and in the garden, demand will undoubtedly be high at the recycling centres. “However, I would urge people to be sensible and patient as we anticipate long queues when we first reopen. “Please only come if it’s essential to dispose of your waste – if it can still be stored in the garage, garden, or by the house please leave it there a little longer until the first wave of demand passes. “During closure workers have prepared the sites for reopening under social distancing guidelines and been supporting essential services elsewhere in the authority.”


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