Cllr David Walker at the now removed community recycling facilities in West Felton
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Household Recycling Centres reopen

Household Recycling Centres reopened from today for essential use only. This is welcome news as reports of increased fly-tipping have been in circulation. Researchers from the universities of Southampton and Portsmouth have found that reports of fly-tipping in rural communities had increased by 300% during the lockdown. Shropshire Council scrapped all 120 of the local recycling points in 2018 – I am sure they could help ease the pressure if reinstated.

As we see some easing of coronavirus restrictions we need to be careful how we do this. We must avoid easing restrictions too much or too quickly, or we risk another outbreak. If we can return to a new level of normality and maintain social distancing then opening up should be welcomed. However, we can’t be complacent and think this is over. We are going to be facing restrictions for a long time yet.

New Rules in force at Household Recycling Centres

Shropshire Council and Veolia have said that Household Recycling Centres reopened from today with the following rules:

  • Anyone who is self-isolating or has COVID-19 symptoms MUST NOT visit an HRC site
  • A strict limit to the number of vehicles allowed on a site at any one time
  • Only one person per vehicle
  • Only cars will be admitted. No trailers or vans of any sort will be allowed. This will be continuously under review
  • Waste permits will not be accepted
  • Only one visit will be allowed per day
  • 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’ll publicise when we’re able to accept these materials
  • The public must respect the strict two-metre rule both from staff and other site users
  • Veolia staff will be unable to assist with unloading vehicles
  • Walking-in of waste will not be permitted
  • Use of the sites is restricted to residents of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin only

300% increase in fly-tipping during Coronavirus lockdown

Research from the universities of Southampton and Portsmouth has found that reports of fly-tipping in rural communities have increased by 300% during the lockdown. The study suggests the rise could be linked to the closure of recycling centres in parts of the UK.

“There are concerns that unscrupulous traders are exploiting social distancing rules in some areas to try and provide illegal waste disposal services. Councils appreciate residents may have larger amounts of rubbish building up and they will continue to work hard to keep waste and recycling services working as effectively as possible

David Renard, Environment spokesman for the Local Government Association
Overflowing recycling left at the old recycling point which Shropshire Council closed in 2019. Household Recycling Centres on their own aren't enough to cut fly-tipping & improve recycling rates
The bins in The Punch Bowl car park aren’t a recycling point any more. Shropshire Council removed their skips from 120 recycling bring points in 2019 to save money. Household Recycling Centres on their own aren’t enough to cut fly-tipping & improve recycling rates.

In 2019 Shropshire closed all 120 of its recycling bring points across Shropshire as a cost-saving exercise. They claimed that this would improve recycling rates and reduce fly-tipping when all of the evidence showed the reverse was the case. West Felton Parish Council discussed this before the lockdown as recycling was still being left at the bring point. To reduce fly-tipping and improve recycling rates you actually need to make recycling easier, not harder.

Telford & Veolia provide Wheelie bins rather than crates for the plastic, cans and bottle recycling in 2013. Shropshire Council should do the same and expand their doorstep recycling service if they want to reduce fly-tipping and improve their recycling rates. Introducing a Wheelie bind for plastic would be very welcome.

Coronavirus has shown how vulnerable waste management and recycling is to disruptions in the collection service.

May Bank holiday refuse collections

Revised waste collections for the May Bank holidays for 2020 were released last week. For the Early May Bank Holiday on Friday, Friday collections will be on Saturday. The rest of the week before and the week after remain unchanged. At the moment, the Spring Bank Holiday week will have the usual 1-day delay for each collection day.