Press release: HWRC Guidance

Press Release
Date: 4 May 2020

Local authority network groups have combined forces to produce a guidance document to restart recycling centres. Led by NAWDO, networks including the Local Authority Recycling Advisory committee (LARAC), Assistant Directors of Economy, Environment, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) and London Waste Advisory Recycling Board (LWARB) produced the restart recycling centre guide for local authorities.

Speaking on behalf of the key networks, Gurbaksh Badhan Chair of NAWDO said “the guide provides a number of considerations for local authorities in devising plans for restarting the recycling centre services. We hope colleagues across local authorities find the guide useful and can adapt to best fit their local needs. Customers using the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) will see noticeable changes. The sites will look and feel different to enable social distancing, this could include the phased restart of the HWRC service. Some may introduce a booking system or certain waste streams may not be accepted straightaway, for further information please check your local authority’s website. Anyone intending to visit the recycling centres is reminded to visit only if you need to and remember to keep two meters apart. Where possible and available use your kerbside collection services rather than visiting a recycling centre. Like many other sector services, the recycling centre service will need to be kept under review to reflect any changes in the national advice.’’

Restarting recycling centres service will require a number of supporting systems to commence working again including supply chains. Changes may include a range of things to manage demand and social distancing. This could include phased opening of the network, traffic management, the number of customers able to be on site at any one time, restrictions on some materials as the supply chain may not be fully open at present, however may do so in coming days and weeks.”

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented times to us all. Many local authority waste management services have continued to operate well with minor disruptions; other waste management services have been disrupted for a number of reasons including frontline staff shortages. Local authorities have worked hard to keep a range of their services moving, this is largely due to our teams on the ground delivering an essential service.

The majority of local authorities’ temporarily suspended HWRC services due to conflicting advice if the trip was considered essential travel. This meant customers would be sent back home and worse still be fined, the conflicting position needed to be resolved. Many local authorities are finalising their plans to restart their recycling centre services. A request to customers for a little patience at the restart, as we manage the initial customer demand and in advance a big thank you

NAWDO led on this project on behalf of the key networks, Gurbaksh Badhan NAWDO Chair said:

‘’ Many local authorities have been busy putting their plans together to enable a restart of recycling centres and keeping social distancing at the forefront to keep staff and customers safe. A request to customers for a little patience at the restart, as we manage the initial customer demand and in advance a big thank you.’’