Cheshire East Council has announced that it will reopen its household waste and recycling centres on Monday, 11th May.
However, residents are asked to note that they will open with restrictions and traffic management in place.
Residents are urged to only travel to a site where the journey is essential and where the waste or recycling cannot be safely stored at home until a later date.
All eight sites will reopen, operating seven days a week from 8.30am–5pm. All users of the sites will need to observe social distancing measures which, unfortunately, means site staff will not be able to assist anyone.
Additional restrictions and measures to be aware of include:
● Access is permitted for cars only. No vans, vehicle trailers or commercial vehicles will be allowed in;
● No more than two people should be in the car and no children are allowed. Where younger children can't stay at home, they will be allowed to travel in but they must not get out of the car;
● Site staff will not be able to assist with the unloading or lifting of items. People are advised to ensure they can do this themselves or to have a second person with them to help with heavy or bulky items;
● Pedestrians must not access the site. Access is by car only;
● For safety purposes, a traffic management system will be in place at all sites. Queuing outside the sites will be restricted and residents may be asked to leave and return later;
● Sites will be operating on a 'one out, one in' basis for cars, so residents are warned that waiting times may be significantly longer;
● A car number plate system will be in operation. This will help control the number of visitors to the sites each day. Drivers' access to the site will be based on the last number on their vehicle registration plate. Number plates on which the last number is odd - 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9, for the first week of the reopening of the sites (week commencing 11 May) will be given access on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Number plates where the last number is even - 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 will be given access to the sites for the first week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Further information on this and the rota will be shown on the council's website;
● To help prevent people travelling from areas outside of Cheshire East, residents may be asked for evidence of their address – and so are advised to have a recent utility bill or council tax bill with them;
● Once on site, all cars must be parked at least two metres away from the next one;
● It is everyone's own responsibility to adhere to the two-metres social distancing when on the site. Please therefore be considerate towards others using the site;
● The waste permit system will not be operating due to the car-only policy;
● Access to the sites will be removed for people using abusive language or intimidating behaviour towards site staff or other people; and
● Waste from households containing people who have Covid-19 symptoms should be double bagged and left for 72 hours before being brought to site.
Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for waste, said: "I would like to thank residents for their patience over recent weeks whilst our household waste recycling centres have been closed.
"When the sites reopen, on 11 May, restrictions will be in place and it is very likely that queues will be much longer than usual. So, I ask everyone please to bear with us so we can ensure the safety of all site users and our staff.
"I would urge everyone to think about how essential it is to travel to a site and to be aware that sites will be open seven days a week, so there is no need to rush to visit one immediately when they reopen. It will be best to wait until the likely high demand has decreased.
"If you really can't wait, please be prepared for a delay, listen to the directions from staff and ensure you take note of the signage.
"Unfortunately, due to the additional volumes of waste and recycling that is accumulating due to the lockdown situation and reduced capacity with our contractors, some of the waste brought to the sites will have to go to landfill.
"This is something we want to avoid as it goes against our environmental policy but, unfortunately, we have no other option at the moment. Therefore, we would be grateful if additional waste and recycling could be kept safely at home until we are out of this temporary situation. This would benefit the environment in the longer term.
"Residents are reminded that all normal collections for household waste, garden and food waste and recycling collections are still operating and have been throughout the whole of the Covid-19 crisis.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the crews for their tireless hard work and determination to keep our collections going. This includes all staff who have joined crews from other areas of the council to ensure residents have an uninterrupted service."