Going to Recycling Centres After COVID-19 Lockdown
The “stay at home” period of the COVID-19 crisis has given millions of people time to work on their living spaces and declutter them of no longer wanted items. Add to this the surge in online shopping as well as gardening during lockdown and many have spent months waiting desperately for household waste and recycling centres (HWRC) to re-open.
But now that most of these are once again up and running, there are some things we should still be considerate of before rushing out the door with the car filled to the brim.
Is your visit to the recycling centre essential?
It should go without saying that you shouldn’t be going just to dump off a couple of things that couldn’t fit in your recycling bin. Centres may still have reduced staff and are trying to cope with a high volume of traffic, so ensure that your visit is worthwhile. If it’s simply due to overspill, try creating more space by crushing down or dismantling waste in order to pack your domestic recycling more efficiently. Or wait till next week - make sure not to miss your collection!
Check local council information
You don’t want to have made an unnecessary journey to a centre you’d presumed is open, so be sure to find out the correct days and times you can visit your local recycling centre. They may be slightly different to what you remember, if it has indeed re-opened yet at all. It is also worth checking guidance around which materials are currently being accepted, as well as any instructions on maintaining health and safety such as keeping distance, and wearing a facemask and protective gloves.
Sort your items before you go
At this time of added strain on facilities as members of the public flood them, you can do your bit by organising your waste as best you can as you load it into your vehicle. This will reduce the time you spend holding up others in the queue on site and allow the process to be as quick and painless as possible!
Don’t risk spreading coronavirus
Although restrictions are easing, the virus at the centre of the global pandemic has not gone away. If you have noticed symptoms of COVID-19 or are living in a household that’s isolating, do not go out to your local HWRC where it could be transmitted to others. Similarly if you are a vulnerable person who has been instructed to shield themselves for now you should not risk entering an environment where there could be cross contamination from other households. Always keep in mind the recommended precautions if you are visiting recycling centres and wash your hands thoroughly with sanitiser before and after.