Waste and recycling centre is to reopen
Biddulph's waste and recycling centre at Bemersley Road will reopen on Thursday (14th May) for essential use only.
Staffordshire County Council bosses said the decision to reopen its tips had been taken as the pressure had started to ease on the NHS following the Covid-19 lockdown.
There had been calls for Staffordshire tips to be opened more than a week ago after other authorities started to re-opening theirs following an increase in fly-tipping.
Social distancing will have to be observed at Bemersley Road and as a result access for vehicles will be limited.
Lonq queues are expected as residents rush to get rid of the rubbish that has built up in gardens and garages during to the stay-at-home restrictions imposed seven weeks ago.
People will still be urged to keep hold of their waste until the first wave of demand passes.
Announcing the reopening decision yesterday (Wednesday) County Coun Mark Deaville, Staffordshire County Council Cabinet member for commercial, said: “Closing the sites when the Government banned non-essential travel protected staff and public, and reduced the pressure on the NHS. I want to thank all residents for their patience during this time.
“Now that pressure is easing, we are able to reopen the sites, but it will have to be in a controlled way to comply with Government guidance on social distancing.
“That means we won't be able to offer a full service and will have to restrict the number of vehicles allowed on a site at one time.
“Inevitably that means there may be queues and we ask people to remain patient and remember that site staff are doing their best in what remain difficult circumstances.”
Although sites are reopening, the county council has asked those with rubbish to dump to bear in mind the following:
• Only visit if it is essential as initial demand will be high;
• No vans, trailers or flatbed trucks will be allowed on sites until further notice;
• One person per vehicle;
• Access will be by car only;
• No pedestrians allowed;
• Strict, 2m distance rule in place;
• Materials such as asbestos, oils and paints cannot be accepted at this stage.
People should only take items that they can safely load and unload. Staff will be unable to help carry heavy items as it will break social distancing rules.
Waste centre users should also allow time for queuing.
County Coun Deaville added: “On a normal day, we would handle around 3,000 visits to our sites, but after several weeks of people doing jobs around the home and in the garden, demand will undoubtedly be high at the recycling centres.
“However, I would urge people to be sensible and patient as we anticipate long queues when we first re-open.
“Please only come if it's essential to dispose of your waste. If it can still be stored in the garage, garden, or by the house, please leave it there a little longer until the first wave of demand passes.
“During closure, workers have prepared the sites for re-opening under social distancing guidelines and have been supporting essential services elsewhere in the authority.”
Waste and recycling centres in neighbouring Cheshire East will reopen on Monday and a car number plate system will be in operation to help control the number of visitors each day. Drivers' access will be based on the last number on their vehicle registration plate. Odd numbers will be allowed access in the first week of the reopening on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Even numbers will be allowed in for the first week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
To help prevent people travelling from areas outside of Cheshire East, residents could be asked for evidence of their address - and so are advised to have a recent utility bill or council tax bill with them.