Buckinghamshire Council has confirmed the reopening of five of its nine household recycling centres to give residents the chance to dispose of waste that cannot be safely stored at home.
Council extends big thank-you to Bucks residents during first day of waste sites reopening. Towards the end of the first day when five household waste sites reopened (6th May), Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, Bill Chapple OBE said he wanted to thank all those who visited for playing their part.
The sites at Buckingham, Aston Clinton, Amersham, Beaconsfield and High Heavens in Wycombe have been extremely busy since they opened their doors at 9.00am this morning but Bill said it was great that residents had got the message about the social distancing measures the Council had introduced.
“We pulled out all the stops to get these five sites open and we knew today would be massively busy with people bringing in their essential waste. As expected, traffic queues have built up but Bucks residents have played their part by being considerate, bringing their proof of ID and adhering to the revised site layouts.
“We know things at the five sites will be busy for the foreseeable future, so I hope people will bear with us. My main plea to residents is to consider whether they can wait a few days or longer before visiting their nearest site. The more we can stagger waste coming in, the less traffic queues and the easier it will be for everyone.”
The Council advice is:
- Do not visit unless you absolutely have to. Residents should only bring waste that cannot be stored safely without causing risk of injury or harm to health. This may vary from household to household, so residents will need to judge for themselves if it’s absolutely essential to make the journey.
- Only Buckinghamshire residents will be allowed to use the sites and ID with proof of address will be needed.
- The number of vehicles on site will be limited, so there are likely to be delays in accessing the site and possibly queues outside;
- Give yourself plenty of time for your visit. Just like supermarkets, we will limit people on site and this will mean it will take longer.
- To keep staff and visitors to the sites safe, social distancing measures are in place and must be strictly observed.
- Charges for non-household waste will still apply as normal and only card payments will be accepted.
Bill continued, “These five sites are back up and running as they were, being open from 9.00am to 6.00pm, seven days a week. That means there’s plenty of time to visit over the coming weeks if you can possibly wait.
“Our other sites at Langley, Burnham, Chesham and Rabans Lane, Aylesbury remain closed for the time being. Once we are confident we can operate revised measures effectively at these sites, they will reopen too.
“I’d also like to add my thanks to all the Buckinghamshire Council staff, together with staff from our site operators, FCC Environment, for all they have done to get these sites open so quickly for our residents.”
For further information, please check our website before setting off – https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/bin-collection-recycling-and-waste/
From Wednesday 6 May, the Amersham, Aston Clinton, Buckingham, Beaconsfield and High Wycombe sites will open seven days a week, 9am-6pm – the usual summer opening hours. The other four sites will remain closed for the foreseeable future. To stay within the government’s coronavirus guidelines on essential travel, however, it is important that journeys to these sites during lockdown are only made if waste cannot be stored for longer at home without causing risk to health or safety.
The health of residents and staff is always the highest priority, so everyone visiting the reopened sites will be expected to observe the new social distancing measures that have been put in place. This includes traffic management to control the number of visitors at any one time. The Council warns that this could lead to extensive traffic queues building up at site entrances, so it’s well worth delaying a visit until things are a bit quieter.
Bill Chapple OBE, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “The decision to reopen the recycling centres has been taken after listening to residents’ concerns on extra waste accumulation during the lockdown period. We want to ensure that people who have been struggling to manage their waste are able to dispose of it properly.
“However, I must warn visitors who do feel that a trip is essential that their visit will be different from normal due to the measures we are putting in place to protect both visitors and our staff. I would also stress that we are only open for residents of Buckinghamshire and will be asking visitors for identification to prove their address.
“As part of the need to ensure social distancing, we have had to limit the number of visitors on site at any one time, so long queues to access the site are likely. I’d ask people to bear in mind that the five sites that are reopening will be open from 9 am to 6 pm seven days a week, so it isn’t necessary to rush there at the first opportunity.
“Staff will be on hand to ensure that the social distancing guidelines are adhered to, therefore we urge all visitors to be patient and leave plenty of time for their visit.
“Fly tipping is a crime. Buckinghamshire Council takes a zero tolerance approach to fly tipping and will prosecute wherever possible. However, there has been some concern amongst residents that the closure of the recycling centres has led some people to either fly tip or hire unlicensed individuals to take away their rubbish. With the reopening of five sites, it means that anyone with accumulated waste that cannot safely be stored can now dispose of it properly.”
These are the things to remember when visiting the reopened household recycling centres:
- You should only visit the site if you cannot safely store your waste at home.
- All residents visiting the site will need to observe the social distancing measures now in place. This also means no assistance for unloading can be provided.
- There will be limits on the number of vehicles allowed on site to allow for social distancing. There may be delays accessing the site and possibly queues of waiting vehicles.
- Only one person per vehicle where possible.
- Residents will be asked for their proof of address. Only Buckinghamshire residents will be allowed to use the sites.
- The existing permit system is still in place, but trailers are temporarily banned from sites.
- In line with Public Health England guidance, residents who are vulnerable, or who are showing symptoms which may indicate coronavirus, should not visit household recycling centres.
- We will continue to charge for non-household waste brought to sites.
Because of the higher staffing levels required to ensure social distancing, we cannot open Aylesbury (Rabans Lane), Chesham, Burnham and Langley sites for the time being. These sites remain closed so please do not visit.