Councils told to get ready to re-open recycling centres

Councils have been told to get ready for recycling centres to reopen. Picture: Ian Burt

Councils have been told to get ready for recycling centres to reopen. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Councils are being asked to plan the organised re-opening of household waste recycling sites.

Robert Jenrick, the local government secretary, told the Commons he would soon be publishing guidance to get the centres, which have been shut because of the coronavirus pandemic, back up and running.

Speaking during his department’s questions, he said: “Our bin men and women have done a fantastic job maintaining the vast majority of collections.

“The government published advice to councils on how to ensure the safety of refuse collections on April 7 and today I am announcing that I’m asking councils to plan the organised re-opening of household waste collection sites.

“I expect this to happen over the coming weeks and will be publishing amended guidance shortly.”

Mr Jenrick thanked local government workers saying their efforts were “making the difference in this national endeavour”.

A Norfolk County Council spokeswoman said: “We look forward to Defra’s updated guidance on reopening recycling centres and remain mindful of the current government restrictions on essential travel.

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“In the meantime, we appreciate all the efforts householders are taking to do the right thing with their waste and we apologise for the inconvenience the site closures is causing.

“This decision was made to help protect lives in this most challenging of times.”

Norfolk’s recycling centres closed on March 24, after prime minister Boris Johnson’s address to the nation last month, in which he ordered people to stay in their homes.

Mr Johnson said at the time that such a measure was necessary to ease pressure on the NHS amid rising coronavirus cases.

Bin collections have carried on during that period, although some councils had suspended green waste collections on some occasions.

Collections, in some cases, have also been taking place at different times to usual, with refuse collectors working different shifts to minimise contact with other teams in the depots.

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