West Berkshire Council (WBC) says it is is working hard behind the scenes to reopen the recycling centres as soon as it possibly can, once the Government has confirmed that driving to the recycling centres is seen as an essential journey.
A WBC spokesperson said that the aim is to open both recycling centres, located in Newbury and Padworth. The Council will also look to collect as many of the typical household waste types as practicable at the sites when they reopen. Further details will be provided once confirmed ahead of reopening.
To minimise the spread of the virus and adhere to social distancing rules, only one person will be allowed out of the car while on site – only bring what you can carry without the help of a member of staff. Only be one car will be allowed in each area.
Residents should not come to the recycling centres if they are:
- symptomatic with coronavirus (COVID-19)
- in a 14-day household isolation
- extremely vulnerable and are remaining at home for “shielding” purposes
A number of changes will be introduced to help maintain social distancing on the sites, according to WBC – in the interest of the safety of both residents and site staff. A robust traffic management plan will be in place to help minimise the impact of traffic congestion on local roads. The Council is also actively exploring the use of a booking system for residents wishing to visit the sites.
Residents need to be prepared for long queues, and WBC is advising people to only visit if they cannot safely store their waste at home for the next couple of weeks.
So far, the Council and its waste contractor, Veolia, have maintained kerbside waste collections (including garden waste) without any disruptions, throughout this challenging period. The chargeable kerbside bulky waste collection service has also been restarted after a temporary pause should residents need to use this in the meantime.
The Council will publish details about when recycling centres will open and any local arrangements soon.
Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter, Executive Member for Environment, said: “I want to thank residents for their patience in recent weeks while our recycling centres have been closed. We’re working hard to open them again as soon as we can but the health of our residents, our waste team and the Veolia crews are our priority. We will only open when we are absolutely sure it can be done safely.”
For more information about waste services in the Newbury and Thatcham area – including the collection of bulky and garden waste – visit www.westberks.gov.uk/rubbishandrecycling.