230 vehicles visited the Hanford recycling facility in Stoke-on-Trent on its first day of reopening in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Households are continuing to be advised to only go to city tip sites if it is essential, and to expect long waits.
The City Council is reminding residents that from today (Friday) both the Hanford and Federation Road, Burslem household waste and recycling centres will be open, with heavily restricted access. The Hanford site will open 8am-4pm and the Burslem site will open 9am-4pm.
A number of road restrictions will remain in force on access routes to the Hanford site, and these will be marked out with cones and signage, and with officers on hand in high-visibility jackets to support motorists. During the peak of visitors to the site on Thursday around 70 cars were queuing for up to two hours. The site is able to accommodate between 35-38 cars an hour. A total of 230 vehicles visited the tip during opening hours but 35 cars were turned away as queue times meant the tip had to close by the time they would have made it. As an example one visitor took nearly 45 minutes to unload one car.
Motorists are advised that there will also be road restrictions in place outside the Federation Road site from tomorrow. There will be a one-way system to enter the facility, so that motorists can only visit the tip from the direction of Westport Road. There will be cones and signs in place to direct traffic. The only vehicle access to Federation Road from Scotia Road will be for access to properties and for council vehicles travelling to the tip site. Motorists visiting both tip sites will be greeted by staff when they queue and will be given a password to help to ensure against queue jumping. Residents who are disabled and need assistance to visit the tip sites are asked to bring someone with them who can unload their car.
Councillor leader Abi Brown said: “Our advice remains the same: if you can hold on to your waste a little longer and leave off going to the tips until demand has quietened down, then please do so. Only travel if your journey is essential, you will face lengthy queues and a number of restrictions that are in place to protect your health and the health of our workers.
“At the Hanford site today, we are pleased to say that visitors have been patient, have abided by the restrictions in place and have been following the two-metre social distancing rules. If people continue to do this safely and sensibly we can keep traffic moving in and out of the site. We have found that people have mainly been disposing of wood and garden waste – bulkier items that cannot fit into garden bins, such as bushes and trees and fence and shed panels.
“There will continue to be a number of traffic management restrictions in place tomorrow and for the foreseeable future until demand reduces. We ask that motorists please factor this in to their journey times, and if you are not visiting the tips to please consider using alternative routes if possible.
“If we have queues that we anticipate are two hours in length at 2pm, then we will, unfortunately, have to turn people away, so please plan your journey in good time.”
The two tip sites will operate on their usual days, with the Hanford facility open every day apart from Mondays and Tuesdays and the Burslem site open every day apart from Wednesdays and Thursdays. Residents are cautioned against turning up early to either site as it will prevent council workers from getting in.
The restrictions at the tip sites are:
- Anyone who is self-isolating or has Covid-19 symptoms must not visit either site.
- If you have waste that you suspect of being or is contaminated with Covid-19 material, please ensure that is bagged twice and has been isolated for at least 72 hours before bringing it to the site.
- There will be a strict limit to the number of vehicles allowed on site at any one time.
- Only one person will be permitted per vehicle. Where younger children can’t stay at home, they will be allowed to travel in but they must not get out of the car.
- Only cars will be admitted. No trailers or vans of any sort will be allowed. This will be continuously under review.
- Only bring items that you can safely load and unload yourself.
- Site staff will be unable to assist with unloading vehicles. Only one visit will be allowed per day, and registration numbers will be recorded.
- No trade or commercial waste will be accepted.
- Asbestos, oils and paints will not be accepted. They will need to be stored safely at home until we're able to safely process them. We will publicise when we are able to accept these materials.
- Visitors must respect the strict two-metre rule both from staff and other site users.
- Access will be by car only. Walking-in of waste will not be allowed.
- Use of the sites is restricted to Stoke-on-Trent residents only.
- Handheld devices will be passed into cars for payment, with PPE being used.