From Essex County Council
Fifteen recycling centres in Essex have reopened for waste and recycling which, if stored at home, poses a risk of injury or is harmful to health. We are urging residents to make a common-sense decision and to only visit if absolutely necessary.
Social distancing measures and new site restrictions will be in place to ensure the safety of residents and site staff. This will include limiting the number of cars at any one time, so please be patient and expect long delays.
If you can hold onto your waste, please do so until the sites are fully operational. Alternatively, check out our hints and tips on how to your reduce household waste.
Do not visit a recycling centre if you are shielding, self-isolating or showing any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). For more information please check the latest government guidance.
Advice for essential recycling centre visits
The safest way to get rid of your waste and recycling is using your kerbside collection. A visit to a recycling centre is only essential where there is no alternative available. If a visit is deemed essential, please consider the following advice:
- Only waste or recycling which cannot be stored at home without causing a health or safety risk will be accepted.
- Please do not visit a recycling centre more than once per day.
- Vans are only allowed for essential household waste, and will only be allowed at sites which previously accepted vans. Please be considerate as unloading of vans will take longer and cause delays for other site users.
- Please be patient as visits are likely to take longer than normal so expect long queues.
- Do not queue before the site opens. This will prevent both site staff and collection crews from accessing the depots so they can start work.
- Long queues outside the sites may add to local traffic congestion. You may be asked to move on if you are causing an obstruction.
- When queuing, please consider switching off your engine. This will help to keep air pollution levels down for other site users and staff.
Temporary recycling centre rules
To ensure the safety of residents and site staff, new site restrictions are in place. Please follow site staff instructions, treat site staff with respect and be considerate of other site users. These temporary restrictions will be reviewed regularly and may be subject to change:
- Users are not allowed to walk waste in.
- No trailers will be allowed.
- The number of vehicles allowed onto the site will be limited to manage social distancing. This will be controlled at the gate with a one in one out system.
- Site staff will be directing traffic and will show you where to park.
- Only one person to exit the vehicle when on site.
- Please always maintain a 2m distance from site staff and other site users.
- Only bring waste or items you are able to unload yourself. Site staff are unable to help unload your vehicle.
- Only one person on stairs or walkways at any one time.
- Onsite compost sales will be suspended.
Please note that normal site restrictions still apply.
Which recycling centres are open?
A visit to a recycling centre is only essential where there is no alternative available. If a visit to a recycling centre is deemed essential, please expect long queues and delays.
The following sites will open on Monday 18 May:
- Braintree Recycling Centre
- Brentwood Recycling Centre
- Canvey Recycling Centre
- Chelmsford Recycling Centre
- Chigwell Recycling Centre
- Clacton Recycling Centre
- Colchester Recycling Centre
- Harlow Recycling Centre
- Maldon Recycling Centre
- Mountnessing Recycling Centre
- Pitsea Recycling Centre
- Rayleigh Recycling Centre
- Saffron Walden Recycling Centre
- South Woodham Ferrers Recycling Centre
- Witham Recycling Centre
Whilst we would like to be able to open all recycling centres, the priority is to ensure the safety of residents and site staff. The size and layout of some recycling centres makes it difficult to implement social distancing measures, which is why some sites remain closed at this time.
Please note that recycling centre opening times will be subject to change.
What types of waste and recycling pose a health or safety risk?
Currently, all local councils in Essex are collecting food waste and general rubbish. This is the safest way to dispose of your waste so please use kerbside collections as much as possible. Recycling centres are only open for waste or recycling that cannot be stored on your property without causing a risk of injury, health or harm to yourself or other members of your household.
The following items are not deemed essential if they can be safely stored, so please do not bring these to the recycling centres:
- Recycling such as cardboard, paper and plastic bottles that can all be collected at the kerbside
- Garden waste that can be composted or collected at the kerbside
- Bags of textiles or books
- Bulky items such as wardrobes, kitchen cabinets and chest of drawers
- Soil, hardcore and wood