East Devon and Exeter recycling centres to reopen ‘for essential use only’

Recycling centres in Exmouth, Sidmouth, Honiton and Exeter will reopen ‘for essential use only’ from Monday, May 11.

The facilities – among 19 across Devon shut since March 24 – will be subject to a ‘one-in, one-out’ policy and two-metre social distancing rules.

County council bosses say staff will be unable to help with unloading rubbish and are predicting ‘significant delays and queues’.

Vans, trailers and pick-up trucks will initially be barred.

The Government has defined ‘essential use’ as items that ‘cannot be stored without causing a risk of injury, health or harm to the resident or other members of their household’.

Residents are being urged to follow Whitehall guidance and only travel to recycling centres if waste ‘presents a hazard and cannot be legally and responsibly disposed of in other ways’.

The East Devon and Exeter tips will operate their ‘usual opening hours’.

They include Knowle Hill Recycling Centre, off Salterton Road, Exmouth, Sidmouth Recycling Centre, at the Bowd, and Sutton Barton Recycling Centre in Widworthy, Honiton.

Exeter’s Exton Road Recycling Centre and Pinbrook Road Recycling Centre, in Pinhoe, will also reopen.

Devon County Council (DCC) says the move is part of a ‘phased’ reopening and is subject to any further government announcements.

A spokesperson added: “To protect the public and staff, a series of health protection measures will be in force at each centre, including a one-in, one-out policy and the two-metre social distancing guidelines.

“Unfortunately, this means for the time being site staff will not be able to assist with unloading waste.

“These measures are likely to cause significant delays and queues and residents are advised to postpone their visit where possible.”

DCC also says that:

  • Residents displaying coronavirus symptoms are asked not to visit the recycling centres;
  • Only cars without trailers, with a maximum of two adults per vehicle, will be permitted on site;
  • To keep unloading times to a minimum, trailers, vans, pick-ups and commercial vehicles will not be granted access for the time-being;
  • Payments on-site must be by credit/debit card only.

Councillor Andrea Davis, DCC cabinet member for infrastructure, development and waste, said: “We understand that storing some waste for long periods may not be safe and that is why, following government guidance, we are reopening our recycling centres for essential use only.

“The safety of the public and staff is our top priority and lengthy waiting times should be expected due to the new restrictions in place.

“We ask you to avoid queuing on the public highway and if it is very busy to come back later.

“In the first instance, we ask that if people cannot store waste at home, they should use the regular kerbside collections for disposal.

“If, however, the waste is presenting a hazard and there is no other legal way of disposing of it, then they can bring it to our recycling centres.

“We are working to restore normal service as soon as it is safe to do so and we appreciate your patience at this time.”

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