Five recycling centres across Gwynedd are set to reopen for the first time since the lockdown.
From next Tuesday (26 May), the waste disposal centres at Bangor, Caernarfon, Dolgellau, Ffridd Rasus in Harlech and Pwllheli will be open from Tuesday to Saturday between 9am and 4pm.
But residents will have to book a specific slot in advance – the centres will only be available to cars in the first instance.
Earlier this month, the Welsh Government gave permission for local authorities to start planning to resume some public services under strict social distancing regulations. It’s understood most Welsh councils will also reopen their recycling centres on the same day.
But three more sites at Bala, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Garndolbenmaen will stay closed for now as Gwynedd Council assesses how the new arrangements work at their other centres.
Councillor Catrin Wage, the cabinet member for Highways and Municipal, said: ”It’s really important that residents understand that this will be a limited service for cars only to start with and that every visit must be booked in advance.”
”We would urge residents to help to ensure the new arrangements works as smoothly as possible by sorting out as much of their items for disposal before they get to the centre and to ensure that they fully observe the social distancing rules at the centres to protect their own health and that of our staff.”
”For this new arrangement to work, we are appealing to Gwynedd residents to use the same restraint they have shown throughout the lockdown period.”
Only a limited number of timeslots will be available to ensure the safety of residents and council staff – anyone who turns up without an appointment will be refused entry. It’s hoped services will be expanded to include vans and trailers as soon as possible.
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, living in a household with someone displaying symptoms or shielding should not visit the centres.
Among the key guidelines for the recycling centres, residents should:
- provide their vehicle registration when they book an appointment
- ensure that they visit the recycling centre during their allotted timeslot (no more than 10 minutes before the beginning and no later than 10 minutes before the end)
- ensure only one person steps out of the vehicle to unload the waste
- follow the strict social distancing measures and dispose of their items as soon as possible;
- make sure they only bring household waste – no commercial or business waste will be allowed;
- only bring items that they can carry themselves. Due to social distancing, staff will not be able to help people to unload their car or dispose of waste;
- sort as much as possible of their waste before they get to the centre so that they can dispose of items as quickly as possible.
- household waste (that is not possible to recycle) must be bagged before being put in the skips;
- garden waste must be emptied from bags when deposited in the skip.
Councillor Wager added: ”The stay at home message remains in place in Wales, and residents should only consider travelling to our recycling centres if they are unable to store items safely at home or if the items cannot be collected as part of the council’s weekly household recycling collections.”
”It is possible that there will be queues at times as the new arrangements bed-in – please be patient and respect the staff who will be doing their best to get everyone through the centre as safely and as quickly as possible.”