The majority of Kent County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) reopen today (Friday) for those who have booked a slot.
Strict new rules are in place to not only protect staff but those using one of the county’s 18 HWRC sites as well.
Since Wednesday, over 15,000 people have booked a slot either online or by phone.
KCC has followed Government advice about essential visits to HWRCs which states that journeys must only be made if the waste cannot be stored at home safely or disposed of safely by other means.
It states: “By this we mean the waste cannot be stored without causing risk of injury, health or harm. No other reason for the journey would be considered a legitimate purpose.”
Since sites were closed on March 23, KCC redeployed staff to ensure kerbside collections continued unaffected by the coronavirus lockdown and work behind the scenes continued to ensure sites could reopen as soon as possible.
The sites will be open for use between 9am and 3pm rather than the usual opening hours in order to allow for enhanced cleaning and people must only attend within their booking slot – if you miss your slot, you may not be permitted to use the site.
KCC Cabinet Member for Environment Susan Carey said: “On Thursday I visited our New Romney site with local MP Damian Collins to look at the arrangements that have been put in place to keep our staff and residents safe.
“When you arrive on site you will be welcomed by a member of staff who will ask to see your booking reference number; we’re asking people to keep their windows closed when showing this.
“If there is a wait, please be patient and support our staff to get on with their job of managing the safety of visitors.
“Staff will then direct you onto the site but will not be able to help you with any of your items to minimise spread of infection.
“Moreover, we are restricting the number of customers on site at any one time, so once there is a space, you will be directed to enter the site.
“There are a few more rules to follow once inside such as wearing gloves and only having one person at a time on the access platforms to the bins.
“I would urge everyone that has booked or is planning to book to read the advice on our website before travelling to ensure they can comply with the new rules.
“New booking slots are being made available every day and most sites will be open seven days a week and will accept all types of waste including chargeable items.”
Residents can only book one trip in any four-week period to allow all residents to have access to sites and must follow social distancing guidelines.
KCC operates 18 HWRCs, providing facilities for the recycling and disposal of more than 30 different types of waste, all of which will be accepted.
Medway residents can book an appointment to visit Capstone or Hoath Way, by visiting www.medway.gov.uk/tipbooking
To see where and when sites are open, visit www.kent.gov.uk/hwrcbook where you can also book your slot.
People can also book a slot by phone on 03000 417373.