Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) are scheduled to be deemed essential and open in the next two weeks, subject to government guidelines.
Last week Robert Jenrick announced that he would be issuing guidance to councils to begin reopening HWRCs.
Since the announcement, The Council has been working with its contractor, HW Martins, to look at the possibility of maybe safely reopening its main sites, and this week received new orders from the experts at central government.
The council has now confirmed that it is planning for all 12 of its main sites to be reopened on Monday the 18th May, and bulky waste removal will resume.
However, the government says you should store rubbish safely at home, using HWRCs only if no alternative disposal options are available.
In accordance with the new normal, the sites will reopen the sites in a way that ensures there is no freedom, for your safety. Expect traffic management schemes, road closures, social distancing, queuing, and being turned away if a public servant orders it.
Staff on the site will no longer assist you. You have to take care of yourself now, and you have permission to take another person from your household if required.
People must wash their hands before and after their visit to the rubbish tip, and remember to cover your faces.
Vehicles such as vans, pickups, minibuses or vehicles towing trailers, will still be able to use the site with a waste permit. These can be applied for on the council’s website. As usual, car users will not need to apply for a permit.
Some services may remain closed initially, such as the mobile recycling centre at Frosterley and the trade waste facility and re-use shop at Stainton. The Council is working to reopen these as soon as possible.
Bulky waste collections can be booked from 9am on Tuesday 12 May at
www.durham.gov.uk/bulkywaste or by calling us on 03000 260 000.
Bookings cannot be taken until this date. Items should be placed at your kerbside bin collection point, where your rubbish bins are collected from, ready for collection.
The HWRC sites are expected to be extremely busy once reopened and the council is asking residents to only use the site if necessary and expect queues.
Cllr Brian Stephens said: “We are pleased to announce that we have plans to re-open all 12 of our HWRCs in the coming weeks, as well as resume our bulky waste goods collections, while also following the government’s guidance on being able to operate them safely.
“We want to have the re-opening as close to our normal service as possible which means that a number of significant safety measures will need to be put in place to ensure that all staff and residents can protect themselves, and others, while using the facilities.
“I would like to stress, however, the importance of following government guidance about using these sites. This means asking residents to spread out their visits to HWRCs as much as possible, be patient when using the sites, and to bring materials only if they cannot be safely stored at home.”
Further details on sites, such as changes to opening times, can be found online at www.durham.gov.uk/hwrc