Recycling centres will reopen 'sometime' next week announces Lancashire County Council
Lancashire County Council has announced it will be reopening recycling centres sometime next week, but people will need to book an appointment before visiting.
The council's waste team is currently working to reconfigure the sites so they can operate while maintaining social distancing.
Details will be announced next week stating exactly when the sites will reopen and how the booking system will work.
Councils have kept Household Waste Recycling Centres closed since the lockdown was enforced on March 23 as trips to recycling sites were not classed as essential journeys.
The government issued new guidance to councils yesterday (May 5) explaining they could reopen recycling centres, but measures must be in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
County Councillor Albert Atkinson, Cabinet Member for Technical Services, Rural Affairs, and Waste Management, said: "We've been working for some time on arrangements for reopening our recycling centres, and now the government has given the go-ahead I'm pleased that we'll be in a position to provide them again soon.
"Our recycling centres will be reopening next week, but there will be significant changes to how they usually operate, and we will let people know the full details in the coming days once we have finalised them.
"The biggest change will be that people will need to book a timeslot before visiting, either online or by calling our customer service centre.
"This will be necessary to allow us to manage demand, ensuring that people can visit during a specified timeslot without having to queue for hours.
"There will also be further changes due to the need to operate the sites in a way which enables social distancing, for the safety of visitors and staff.
"We'll be placing some restrictions on the type of waste people can bring with them, and on the type of vehicle they can use, as the usual permit system which allows people to use vans and trailers will not be operating."
The number of sites available will also be limited to begin with as extra staff will be needed to manage each site more closely, monitor queues, and direct visitors
County Councillor Atkinson added: "I'm grateful for people's patience and understanding, and for keeping hold of any excess waste for now which they can't dispose of using their household waste collections.
"I'd ask everyone to keep an eye on our website and social media channels where we will announce details next week about exactly when the recycling centres will reopen, and how they can book."
Since the lockdown began, staff who usually work at the recycling sites have been redeployed to help maintain district council collections, and the operation of the county council's waste processing facilities.
For the latest information about how services are affected by the coronavirus go to www.lancashire.gov.uk.