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Appeal for residents to make a common-sense judgement as Essex County Council recycling centres re-open following the COVID-19 lockdown

Published on Wednesday, 13th May 2020

Essex County Council Logo

Essex County Council have announced the re-opening of their recycling sites from Monday 18 May, Please follow the guidance that they have issued.

15 recycling centres in Essex will be reopened on Monday, 18th May.

Essex County Council is urging residents to be aware that when the recycling centres do open, new restrictions and strict social distancing controls will be in place to ensure the safety of residents and site staff. These restrictions will include limiting the number of cars on site at any one time.

This means when the recycling centres open, at the usual opening time of 9am, there will be very long queues to get on the site.

Recycling centres are open for waste or recycling which cannot be stored at home without causing a health and safety risk.

Residents are urged to use a common-sense judgement to decide if the household waste they have really needs to go to the recycling centre right now, or if it can be stored safely until recycling centres return to normal. If it does need to go to the recycling centre, residents must be aware there will be a long wait.

The safest way to get rid of your waste and recycling is using your kerbside collection. A visit to a recycling centre is only essential where there is no alternative available.

Any residents showing symptoms of COVID-19, self-isolating or shielding should not visit any recycling centre and should follow advice from Public Health England.

Cllr Simon Walsh, Essex County Council Cabinet member for Environment and Climate Change Action, said: “I am appealing for Essex residents to make a common-sense judgement – only visit a site if absolutely necessary. These are unprecedented times and we need you to help us.

“A number of recycling centres in Essex will reopen on Monday 18th May, however the priority remains the same - we must ensure the safety of residents and site staff, which is why a number of recycling centres are unable to reopen at this time.

“New restrictions and social distancing measures have been put in place before any recycling centre reopens and we have worked hard on the processes that needed to be agreed before this date could be announced. Only items that cannot be stored without causing a risk of injury, health or harm should be taken to a recycling centre.

“I must stress the importance of only making an essential visit when absolutely necessary.”

Which recycling centres are reopening?

Only recycling centres able to implement social distancing measures safely will be opened. These will be;

  • Braintree Recycling Centre
  • Brentwood Recycling Centre
  • Canvey Recycling Centre
  • Chelmsford Recycling Centre
  • Chigwell Recycling Centre
  • Clacton Recycling Centre
  • Colchester Recycling Centre (Shrub End)
  • Harlow Recycling Centre
  • Maldon Recycling Centre
  • Mountnessing Recycling Centre
  • Pitsea Recycling Centre
  • Rayleigh Recycling Centre
  • Saffron Walden Recycling Centres
  • South Woodham Ferrers Recycling Centre
  • Witham Recycling Centre

Advice for essential recycling centre visits

Where a visit to a recycling centre is essential please consider the following advice:

  • When visiting in the first weeks of opening please bring only waste or recycling which cannot be stored at home without causing a health and safety risk
  • Multiple visits are not allowed
  • Vans are only allowed for essential household waste. Please be considerate as unloading of vans will take longer and cause delays for other site users
  • Please be patient as visits are likely to take longer than normal and you should expect long queues
  • Please do not queue before sites are open as this will add to local traffic congestion. You may be requested to move on if you are causing an obstruction

What to expect if visiting a recycling centre

  • To ensure the safety of residents and site staff, new site restrictions are in place. Please follow site staff instructions, treat site staff with respect and be considerate of other site users
  • The number of vehicles allowed onto the site will be controlled at the gate with a one in, one out system
  • Site staff will be directing traffic and will show you were to park
  • Only one person to exit the vehicle when on site
  • Please always maintain 2m distance from site staff and other site users
  • Only bring waste or items you can unload yourself. Site staff are unable to help unload your vehicle
  • Users are unable to walk waste in
  • No trailers will be allowed

Recycling centre opening hours and site restrictions are subject to change and residents should check Love Essex before visiting any site. Live updates on the situation will be available on Facebook at @loveessexuk