Visiting our household waste recycling centres (tips) during COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Our household waste recycling centres (tips) are open with significant restrictions to protect you and staff from the risk of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The centres are open for essential waste, DIY waste (except plasterboard) and cardboard only. These limits are in place to try and reduce the number of people visiting the sites to make sure social distancing can be maintained. There's also a restriction on the number of vehicles allowed into the centres at any one time.

Please only visit a household waste recycling centre if you really need to. 

Types of waste you can dispose of

You can currently dispose of the following types of waste at the centre:

  • grey bin waste
  • green bin (garden) waste
  • DIY waste, such as timber, rubble and scrap metal (no plasterboard)
  • cardboard

Please only travel to the centre if you’re unable to store excess waste at home. The fewer people who visit, the easier it is to maintain social distancing and keep the sites open for those with an urgent need.

Before you leave your home to dispose of garden waste, please think about whether you can compost or store it at home. If you can’t, or if the waste is starting to smell, you can visit a centre. Remember, you should only make the trip if you really need to.

Please continue to store electricals, plasterboard and large items (such as sofas and mattresses) at home until further notice. You can use our large item collection service if you need to dispose of these items and can't wait until our household waste recycling centres can accept them.

What to expect if you need to visit a centre

Queues and longer wait times than usual

  • A queuing system is in place with a limited number of vehicles on site at one time.
  • The traffic is managed on the roads outside the centres to make it safe to queue in your car.
  • You may be asked to wait to let waste disposal transport into the centre, and while containers are compacted or removed from the centre.

Social distancing and safe use

  • Only one person per car is permitted. Where this isn't possible, perhaps due to childcare needs or disability, exceptions can be made. However only one adult is allowed to leave the vehicle once inside the centre.
  • Staff are not able to help you dispose of items; only bring waste you can manage yourself.

Fair use of the centres

Please be aware:

  • there's a restriction of 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. Please do not come with a trailer, in long wheelbase vans, or vehicles longer than 5.2m. The standard exceptions, such as disabled vehicle access, still apply.
  • to respect other people; abuse of operatives and others will not be tolerated. CCTV and body-worn cameras are in use, and offences will be investigated and could lead to prosecution.

Opening times

The centres are open seven days a week, but with slightly adjusted opening times:

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

Find out more about our household waste recycling centres.

Why were the centres closed?

On 26 March 2020 South Yorkshire Police asked us to take appropriate action to prevent non-essential travel and to reduce the risks of road traffic incidents due to large queues outside the centres.

The centres had remained very busy and social distancing guidance was not being followed. Staff were also subject to abuse when attempting to implement social distancing measures.

Our key priority was protecting members of the public, staff and road users. We therefore made the decision to close the centres.

Why have the centres reopened?

We understand the need to dispose of waste which may start to smell, particularly when people are spending more time at home.

South Yorkshire Police have now agreed that disposal of essential household waste is acceptable essential travel. Social distancing, cleansing and traffic management measures are in place to allow centres to re-open safely. We’re working with South Yorkshire Police through our Safer Neighbourhood Services to make sure we have regular patrols to support with social distancing and public safety.