Lancashire's tips will stay shut for as long as the lockdown lasts
Lancashire County Council’s household waste recycling centres will not be reopening during the current lockdown.
The authority has made the announcement after the government suggested that local authorities should attempt to keep their tips operating if social distancing measures could be implemented.
County Hall last week told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that it was looking at how it could reconfigure its 16 facilities across the county to offer a “limited service” – but only when the most stringent movement restrictions are lifted.
It is understood that the authority is also planning how to deal with the inevitable demand once residents are finally allowed to start using the centres again.
County council leader Geoff Driver said that the issues which prompted the closure of Lancashire’s tips within 24 hours of the lockdown being announced last month are as relevant now as they were then.
“We closed our recycling centres in line with government advice at the start of the lockdown, and the laws which were passed to help the country deal with the virus make clear that people should stay at home except for specific essential journeys.
“I know how much people value the service our recycling centres provide, and we’re now a number of weeks into the lockdown, but the reason they were closed has not changed, and they must remain closed to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We are being advised that we have not yet experienced the peak of the virus in the north of England, and while we would all like to get back to normal, people shouldn’t forget that the lockdown is in place to save lives and reduce the pressure on vital health and care services.
“The vast majority of people understand this, and I’d like to thank them for helping all Lancashire’s councils by continuing to responsibly dispose of their waste using the household collections, and by keeping hold of anything which they’d usually take to a recycling centre.
“Waste collections are continuing, so there is no excuse for fly tipping, and we are working with colleagues in the districts and boroughs to take enforcement action where fly tipping is reported to bring those responsible to book,” County Cllr Driver added.
Staff from the waste recycling centres have been redeployed to collection duties with district authorities and other waste processing roles.
Last week, neighbouring Wigan Council announced that its tips were to reopen after a temporary closure.