Household Waste Recycling Centres re-open for essential waste with strict social distancing measures

Barnsley’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (tips) have re-opened with significant restrictions to protect the public and staff from the risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The centres at Goldthorpe, Penistone, Smithies and Worsbrough had to close on 26 March to protect the public and staff from the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The centres have now reopened for essential waste only with strict social distancing measures in place.

There will be a restriction on the number of vehicles allowed into the centres at any one time and the council is urging residents not to visit Household Waste Recycling Centres unless it’s absolutely essential. It is expected there will be long queues at all the sites and anyone attending should expect delays.

Essential waste is classed as grey bin waste and green bin waste that is starting to smell. Residents are encouraged to consider whether they can compost or store garden waste at home. If this isn’t possible, or if the waste is starting to smell, they can visit a centre but are urged to only make the trip if it’s absolutely essential.

DIY waste, cardboard, electricals and large items such as sofas and mattresses should be stored at home until further notice. We’re planning a phased approach to getting the sites back to full capacity. We'll keep monitoring social distancing measures and if they are working well we hope to move to the next phase and expand the types of waste accepted within weeks.

It is vital that social distancing and safe use of the sites are maintained and the council asks everyone to stay away if they can. Those who do attend are asked to have patience, and to bear in mind the following:

  • Only one person per car. Exceptions can be made where this isn’t possible due to childcare needs or disability. In these circumstances only one person (adult) will be permitted to leave the vehicle once inside the centre.
  • Only bring waste you can manage yourself as staff will not be able to help in disposing of items due to social distancing.
  • You may be asked to wait to let waste disposal transport into the centre.
  • You may be asked to wait while containers are compacted or removed from the centre.
  • One visit per day per vehicle to give everyone an opportunity to dispose of essential waste safely.
  • You may be asked to return another day if the queue is too long before closing time.
  • Only cars and small vans are allowed inside the centre. Trailers, long-wheelbase vans or vehicles longer than 5.2m are not allowed. The standard exceptions, such as disabled vehicle access will still apply.
  • Respect people – abuse of operatives and others will not be tolerated. CCTV and body-worn cameras are in use. Offences will be investigated and could lead to prosecution.

All the sites are open seven days a week. Opening times have been adjusted as follows:

  • Goldthorpe: 9am to 5pm
  • Penistone: 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Smithies: 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Worsbrough: 8.30am to 7pm

Cllr Chris Lamb, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place (Environment and Transportation), said: “We want to help residents where we can during these extremely difficult times. We know people are spending more time at home, they’re spending time in their gardens and many are making home improvements or doing more gardening than they otherwise would be doing at this time of year. However, wherever they can, we urge people to compost or hold onto this waste for now and to stay away from the Household Waste Recycling Centres if at all possible.

“We very reluctantly had to take the decision to close the centres in March. We didn’t want to do it. Despite repeated guidance about social distancing people were not conforming and regrettably staff were verbally abused and physically threatened when they tried to impose distancing measures. Therefore it was not safe to keep them open.

“Since then we have been carefully planning how they can safely be re-opened. We now feel it is time to re-open them with strict measures in place. As time has gone on we believe the public have come to further understand the need for social distancing and we hope the people of Barnsley will respect our staff and respect each other and use these sites safely and responsibly. It must be stressed that we will not tolerate abuse, threats or violence to staff.”

See www.barnsley.gov.uk/recycling-centre-restrictions for more information.

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