Council urges caution when recycling centres re-open
ENVIRONMENTAL chiefs in Liverpool are urging the public to only use the city’s two Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) if absolutely necessary when they re-open on Monday (May 4) amid fears there could be long delays and heavy traffic.
The message is – only use the recycling centres if it is essential that you dispose of waste and if you do come, expect long traffic delays. The HWRCs in Old Swan and Otterspool will start providing a limited service from Monday 4 May after being closed as part of the coronavirus lockdown. The move has been prompted by increased levels of household waste that have been generated during the COVID-19 outbreak and also to combat a rise in fly-tipping across the city. The centres, which are run by the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MWRA), will open between 8am and 8pm each day but there will be restrictions on the amount of people who can attend. The sites will be open for cars only and only one person will be allowed in each vehicle. Social distancing of two metres will be strictly enforced at the sites and workers will be unable to help visitors with heavy or bulky items. Blue Badge holders who visit the sites will be allowed to bring someone to help them. The MRWA says that households that have experienced coronavirus symptoms should leave their waste for 72 hours before disposing of it and personal waste should be double-bagged. Liverpool City Council will be imposing traffic regulations on the two sites to avoid predicted waiting times of up to four hours waiting time.
At Old Swan these will include a southbound one-way for all traffic on Green Lane between Brelade Road and Prescot Road.
Whilst at Otterspool, a northwest-bound one way will be in place on Riverside Drive between the Jericho Lane roundabout and Bempton Road roundabout. The authorities say that the opening of the sites will be reviewed if an expected surge of visitors creates challenges for the road network and the local communities surrounding the sites.
Carl Beer, who is the Chief Executive of the MRWA said: “We are re-opening the centres but the service will be restricted to just a couple of cars on site at any one time. This could potentially lead to very long traffic delays. The message from us is only come if it is essential to get rid of your waste and if you do come, expect very long queues of traffic.” Mr Beer added that ‘essential waste’ means items that could potentially cause harm to health if stored at home. The MRWA operates 14 sites across Merseyside and most will re-open on Monday. The authority and Liverpool City Council say that residents can still do a lot at home to reduce and recycle their waste during the lockdown. Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability and MRWA member, Cllr Laura Robertson-Collins said: “It is great news that we have the recycling centres open again. The centres are a really important part of our waste disposal strategy in the city and their recycling rates are very high. “However, this is not a return to normality and we must urge residents to only visit the sites if absolutely necessary. People with garden waste can look at home composting rather than bringing it to one of the centres and we would also urge people to recycle as much as they can through the blue bins and re-use as much as they can. “We have to be really careful in protecting both our staff working at the sites and also members of the public visiting them so we would urge everyone to be cautious and again, only come if there is no other option.”
Liverpool City Council Cabinet member for Highways and Regeneration, Cllr Sharon Connor said: “We understand that residents of the city may be struggling to manage their waste at the moment due to the pressure on our services. With staff shortages due to people self-isolating we have been unable to maintain some elements of our service. “The vast majority of people have been really understanding and co-operative and we thank everyone in our city for bearing with us through this difficult time. It is good news that the recycling centres have are re-opening but we would ask everyone to continue to continue to work with us and only use these centres if absolutely necessary.”
· For more information about the Household Waste Recycling Centres, you can visit the MRWA’s website www.merseysidewda.gov.uk and social media @MerseysideRWA.