Thank you to all of you who have been fielding questions about the Recycling Centres from your residents. As some of you know we have been waiting for the government to update the reasons for essential travel, this unfortunately has not yet been forthcoming, clearly we cannot carry on with this situation where residents cannot use recycling centres, I have therefore asked for the recycling centres to be open on Monday 11th May. Our officers have spoken to the local police regarding the essential travel element and they are content with the reopening.
I have attached the press release for your information, please note the different opening times for Crowndale and Punchbowl due to waste transfer stations being on site, protecting the residual domestic waste collections will always be the top priority.
This will be challenging, we will be restricting vehicles to cars only for the first couple of weeks at least, to help with flow through the site, there will be a one out one in system and social distancing will be adhered to. We are expecting long queues as we have all been having a good clear out, hence the advice is to please only visit if it is essential.
Tomorrow there will be media coverage and I would ask that you encourage your residents to think about whether they feel the trip is essential at this time, capacity will be reduced. It may well be worth considering putting off that exciting trip to the recycling centre until things calm down a bit. There will be no resale shops open, all payments will be contactless and we will have security on the sites.
The last weekend they were open, which was before the lockdown, the staff were subjected to abuse, including staff being coughed on to pass on the Covid-19 infection, there was no adherence to social distancing and queues on the highway were forming, we had to shut some of them then just to control the situation. I will have no hesitation in doing this again, the safety of our residents and the staff at the sites is paramount.
Once there is a lifting of social distancing we can look at changing back to our former way of working at the HWRC’s but until there then will be restrictions in place and a consequent longer wait for the public, we will be keeping all the sites under review and will be amending the operations accordingly.
Once we have got over the initial surge, we can then have larger vehicles and trailers on the site, but to give everyone a fair chance of accessing, the cars only restriction will be in place for a couple of weeks, unless in the unlikely event that there are no queues.
This has been a challenging time for our officers in the waste and recycling team, they have pulled out all the stops to get this moving forward at pace.
Please come back to me if you have any questions.