Reopening of recycling centres: frequently asked questions

Last updated: 10am on Monday 8 June

Why were the recycling centres closed?

The recycling centres were closed at 1pm on 24 March following the Government’s announcement of a ‘lockdown’ due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Government specified specific reasons for leaving your home:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.

Visits to recycling centres are not one of the reasons listed and therefore the decision was taken to close the sites with the view of reviewing this decision when the lockdown was amended, or relaxed or further guidance was provided by the Government. The Government provided further guidance and clarity on 5 May, which stated sites could be reopened where it was safe to do so.

Are all of the recycling centres going to reopen?

Yes, all recycling centres in Nottinghamshire are now open.

All sites will be operating strict social distancing measures and delays are likely.

Don’t forget that you need to be a resident of Nottinghamshire (excluding Nottingham City) and have registered your vehicle to use the Nottinghamshire recycling centres – it’s quick and easy to register.

What will happen when I visit a recycling centre?

Please be aware that due to the social distancing rules on site there is likely to be significant delays when visiting the sites.

On approach, there may be a member of staff to help manage the traffic, and another controlling the gate to the site. 

They will advise you when to enter the site and, provided social distancing is possible, guide you where to go onsite.

You must follow their instructions at all times as they are there to ensure you and everyone else is kept safe.

Please pay attention to container labels and only put your waste in the correct container. 

Please do not use containers that have a barrier to the gantry.

Continue to follow social distancing guidelines and maintain a two-metre distance between yourself, staff and any other members of the public on site at the same time.

Will the sites be open under their normal opening hours?

All sites are available seven days a week from 8am to 6pm.

The slightly reduced opening hours allow for emptying of full containers in the evenings, reducing the need to frequently replace containers during the day in order to protect staff operating the sites and increase available capacity.

Sites may still have to close temporarily during the course of their opening to allow for cleaning, or for the changing of containers.

The site may be operating under minimal staffing levels and so to ensure the safety of the site and its users, may also need to close to give staff opportunities to rest. Our operatives are working hard to keep the site running. 

If you are visiting the recycling centre towards the end of the day, please allow yourself plenty of time to ensure you are allowed in to the site. All vehicles need to have entered the site, unloaded their waste and left the site by closing time at 6pm.

What social distancing measures will be in place on the sites?

The sites will have demarcation zones around container bays or ramps to restrict access to one person at a time giving consideration to the 2-metre social distancing.

The sites will also be operating on a ‘one in one out’ basis.

What other health and safety measures will be in place at the sites?

All site staff will be wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which may include face masks. Remember they will be on site all day so need to be protected from a much higher level of risk than someone making a quick one-off visit.

Cleaning on sites will take place, with hand rails up to containers being disinfected approximately every 30 minutes.

I need help with my waste – can I get assistance from a member of staff?

No. Due to social distancing rules, staff will not be able to assist with disposing of waste items at this time.

You can take one additional adult who lives in your household with you if you have a large item to unload from your vehicle such as a fridge or washing machine or are disabled and need assistance, however only one person will be allowed on the gantry at a time.

Otherwise contact your district or borough council bulky waste collection service or employ a registered waste carrier. 

I don’t have a vehicle; can I access the sites on foot?

Unfortunately, to maintain the safety of site users and staff sites will not be accessible by foot at this time.

Why am I queuing to use the site?

In order to meet the requirements of social distancing it is necessary to restrict the number of service users on the recycling centre to a level where the two-metre social distancing can be maintained.

The sites will be operating under a one in one out system. Therefore, it is expected that there will be significant delays. Please be patient and remain in your car whilst queuing. We appreciate it might be frustrating but be assured staff are working hard in difficult conditions to get you through as quickly and safely as they can. 

There will be uniformed staff at the gates to manage traffic on the sites. Please listen and follow their instructions. They are there to help you and make sure you stay safe and can complete your trip in as quick a time as possible. 

Can I take all waste types to the sites like usual?

The sites will only be accepting garden waste, cardboard, wood, metals, waste electrical and electronic equipment and general household waste.

This reduction in material types is to ensure social distancing measures are adhered to to allow the sites to operate safely and move people through the sites as safely and quickly as possible.

Can I collect paint from the Recycling Centres?

Whilst these social distancing restrictions are in place there will be no appointments available to collect paint from the Recycling Centres at this time.

Will all containers be open?

Not all containers/bays will be open. Some will be for mixed wastes to ease the volume of waste being deposited.

Can I take a family member to help me unload my waste?

You can take one additional adult who lives in your household with you if you have a large item to unload from your vehicle such as a fridge or washing machine or are disabled and need assistance, however only one person will be allowed on the gantry at a time.

My waste is normally recycled but has gone into a mixed / general waste bin.  Will it go to landfill?

We have combined some containers to ensure social distancing rules are met, and this will mean that some waste that is normally sent for recycling will go to landfill/energy from waste. This is another reason why we must ask you to ensure you only visit the site if absolutely necessary.

I / my household have been self-isolating - can I take my waste to the recycling centre?

No - Self-isolating households should follow Government advice and store tissues and disposable cleaning cloths double-bagged, tied securely and separate from other waste for 72 hours before putting with general waste. Don’t take this to the recycling centres - place it in your general waste bin at home.

How can I prepare for my visit to the recycling centre?

Only bring what you can safely handle as site staff will not be able to assist you as they normally would.

Stay safe – wear protective gloves, appropriate footwear and clothing.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

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