Essex County Council will reopen 15 recycling centres across the county as coronavirus lockdown restrictions continue to be eased.
The county’s 21 dumps have been closed since March 24 to deter people from making unnecessary journeys due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The closure of dumps has seen a nationwide 80 per cent increase in instances of fly-tipping.
In a letter to local authorities, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke MP, and Minister for the Environment, Rebecca Pow MP, previously said journeys to centres were “reasonable” and that they are “permitted by law to be open”.
The pair added: “Household waste recycling centres play an essential role to the economy by providing the recycled materials that industry relies on to make new products as well as helping householders dispose of their waste and reducing the risk of fly-tipping.”
These will include limiting how many cars are allowed on-site at one time.
Opening hours for the recycling centres remain the same, opening at 9am – visitors are advised that there will be very long queues as coronavirus social distancing is carried out.
County Council ‘appeal’ for residents to think before visiting dumps
A spokesperson for Essex County Council said: “Residents are urged to use a common-sense judgement to decide if the household waste they have really needs to go to the recycling centre right now, or if it can be stored safely until recycling centres return to normal.
“If it does need to go to the recycling centre, residents must be aware there will be a long wait.
“The safest way to get rid of your waste and recycling is using your kerbside collection.
“A visit to a recycling centre is only essential where there is no alternative available.”
Councillor Simon Walsh, Essex County Council Cabinet member for Environment and Climate Change Action, added: “I am appealing for Essex residents to make a common-sense judgement – only visit a site if absolutely necessary.
“These are unprecedented times and we need you to help us.
“A number of recycling centres in Essex will reopen on Monday 18th May, however the priority remains the same – we must ensure the safety of residents and site staff, which is why a number of recycling centres are unable to reopen at this time.
“New restrictions and social distancing measures have been put in place before any recycling centre reopens and we have worked hard on the processes that needed to be agreed before this date could be announced.
“Only items that cannot be stored without causing a risk of injury, health or harm should be taken to a recycling centre.
“I must stress the importance of only making an essential visit when absolutely necessary.”