Yesterday Defra published new guidance for local authorities on how they can safely re-open Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) during the coronavirus outbreak.
The widespread closure of HWRCs across England means that many households and businesses are storing waste, which could pose a risk to health and increase the likelihood of fly-tipping.
The government has not requested councils to close their recycling centres, but most have been closed for various reasons, including concerns about staffing levels and adhering to social distancing.
Annoucning the guidance, Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:
“Maintaining crucial waste services while protecting public health remains a top priority during these unprecedented times, and I commend our councils on the superbly efficient job they are doing in keeping waste collection services running.
“We are publishing this guidance to help local authorities re-open their recycling centres over the coming days and weeks. This will ensure that more waste can be properly disposed of and we avoid the likelihood of fly-tipping.”
HWRCs are also very important for the recycling sector and the supply chain for materials.
Under the current lockdown restrictions, members of the public may travel to a HWRC if waste in their home is likely to cause injury or it poses a risk to public health or the local environment.
Before travelling, householders should check their local council’s website to find out which HWRCs may be open and the procedures in place to access them, as well as what kerbside collections are available.