Queues as some of Norfolk’s recycling centres reopen
PUBLISHED: 14:33 11 May 2020 | UPDATED: 18:30 11 May 2020
Eight of Norfolk’s recycling centres have re-opened today (Monday, May 11), but people are being urged only to use them if they cannot store rubbish at home.
Queues of cars have built up at some of the tips and there have been reports of some cars being turned away as queues built up.
Norfolk County Council reopened eight of its tips - at Caister, Dereham, Hempton, Ketteringham, King’s Lynn, Mayton Wood, Mile Cross and Thetford.
All of the council’s centres had been shut since March, when the coronavirus lockdown began. Apart from the eight named above, all the others remain closed.
The council has said people should only make a trip if they cannot safely store waste or recycling at home.
There were queues of cars at Mile Cross Recycling Centre and Norwich and there have been reports of drivers being turned away from Caister Recycling Centre, because of the length of the queues.
One driver posted on Facebook that they had been sent away because staff were marshalling from the Tesco end of the slip road.
They said: “I said I’m happy to queue, but still not allowed though, as too many cars.”
The county council said the entrance at Caister was shared with refuse collection vehicles, which need access, so it is “trickier” to manage traffic there.
Andy Grant, the council’s cabinet member for environment and waste, said, at today’s virtual meeting of County Hall’s cabinet, said: “We know there’s going to be a lot of pressure on the system today. But thank you to all the staff who have gone back to work today.”
Only cars and small vans can go to the tips, people must practice social distancing and follow the advice given by staff.
The centres will not accept trade waste, textiles, clothing or items for the reuse shops, which are closed. Other materials may also be restricted due to lack of collections from sub-contractors.
The centres will accept other types of waste they normally take on, including household and garden waste, scrap metal, paint cans, glass bottles, electrical items and wood.
Charges for DIY waste, which were introduced in 2018, can only be made by card - contactless if possible.
These charges include, per 80 litre sack or single item: Unsorted/non-recyclable DIY waste £5; rubble or timber £3; plasterboard £9.
The council’s advice adds: “Make sure you wear sensible clothing, gloves and footwear.
“If you are in self-isolation, have Covid-19 symptoms, or if you have been in recent contact with someone else with symptoms, you must not visit our recycling centres under any circumstances.”
The council has warned that if queuing becomes an issue, visitors may be asked to come back later. Staff won’t be able to help unload items, and only one person can leave a vehicle at a time - unless they need help unloading something heavy.
The council said people who have been isolating due to suspected coronavirus needed to dispose of their waste differently to stop the spread.
The council said: “Personal waste such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths should be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.
“These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste.
“Please put them aside for at least 72 hours before placing them in your usual external household waste bin.”