Devon recycling centres reopen for ‘essential use only’

County Hall. Ref exe 04-17 5978. Picture: Terry Ife

County Hall. Ref exe 04-17 5978. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Recycling centres across Devon have been reopened, but for ‘essential use only’.

All Household Waste Recycling Centres in the county were closed on March 24 after the Government announced lockdown restrictions, but on Monday morning, they were reopened to the public.

Residents were urged to follow government guidance and only travel to recycling centres if the waste presents a hazard and ‘cannot be legally and responsibly disposed of in other ways.’

The government has defined ‘essential use’ as waste that ‘cannot be stored without causing a risk of injury, health or harm to the resident or other members of their household’ and residents are urged to follow government guidance.

Cllr Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for infrastructure, development and waste, said: “We understand that storing some waste for long periods may not be safe and that is why, following government guidance, we are reopening our recycling centres for essential use only.

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“The safety of the public and staff is our top priority and lengthy waiting times should be expected due to the new restrictions in place.

“We ask you to avoid queuing on the Public Highway and if it is very busy to come back later. In the first instance, we ask that if people cannot store waste at home, they should use the regular kerbside collections for disposal.

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“If however the waste is presenting a hazard and there is no other legal way of disposing of it, then they can bring it to our recycling centres. We are working to restore normal service as soon as it is safe to do so and we appreciate your patience at this time.”

Residents displaying coronavirus symptoms, are asked not to visit the recycling centres, while only cars without trailers, with a maximum of two adults per vehicle, will be permitted on site.

To keep unloading times to a minimum, trailers, vans, pick-ups and commercial vehicles will not be granted access for the time being and payments on site must be by card.

A council spokesman said: “To protect the public and staff a series of health protection measures will be in force at each centre, including a one-in one-out policy and the two-metre social distancing guidelines.

“Unfortunately, this means for the time being site staff will not be able to assist with unloading waste.

“These measures are likely to cause significant delays and queues and residents are advised to postpone their visit where possible.”

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