The borough's 2 recycling centres at Chichester Street in Rochdale and Spring Vale in Middleton are due to re-open on Saturday, 2 May 2020 - but with restrictions.
The sites, which are owned by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and operated by recycling and waste management firm SUEZ, were closed in March 2020 to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The decision to re-open them to residents has come largely due to an increase in fly-tipping across the borough and elsewhere in the region and the fact that households are accumulating more general waste from being at home during the lockdown period.
Although the sites are re-opening they should only be used by those with a genuine need to dispose of extra waste. The Rochdale site will only be open at weekends to prevent refuse collection trucks being held up in queues during weekdays.
A trip to the tip should not be classed as an 'essential' journey and residents should only visit if it is essential to prevent injury, illness or harm or if you have a problem with storing too much waste or other hazardous waste at home.
The council has been advised on the following ruling that will be in place:
- Anyone in self-isolation or with COVID-19 symptoms must not visit the recycling centres under any circumstances.
- Only bagged general waste will be accepted at the recycling centres. The council's usual general waste collections will still be in operation. Also, residents can still take advantage of bulky waste collections from their homes.
- The sites will not accept any other type of recycling or garden waste at this time so please keep this at home until normal service is resumed. The council's usual garden and recycling collections will still be in operation.
- Cars and small vans only, no transit type vehicles or trailers.
- The public should only visit sites if it is necessary, for example, if items stored at home represent a health and safety risk.
- The number of vehicles on-site will be restricted and cars should be driver-only.
- Social distancing at 2 metres will be strictly enforced and operatives cannot assist the public.
- Restricted opening hours are in place with, no walk-ons.
- To reduce traffic, new measures have been introduced. You can only go to the recycling centre on certain days depending on whether your vehicle's number plate is even-numbered or odd-numbered.
- Find out which days you can go to the recycling centre
- Please take proof of address with you, such as your Council Tax bill, gas bill or electric bill. You can show your bill on your mobile phone rather than take a paper copy.
- Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and CCTV are in operation. No trade waste is allowed.
- The recycling centres will only be kept open with the cooperation of the public. Any excessive queues, abuse of the staff or disregard of the new site rules, may mean the recycling centre may be forced to close.
The re-opening of the site will be popular, which will impact greatly on the amount of traffic leading up to each of the local sites. With this in mind, the council ask you to hold off visiting or prepare to sit in a queue of traffic.
On average, most sites have up to 2,000 visitors per day, which is likely to escalate due to closures. The council will be operating a full traffic management plan to help alleviate congestion, but residents may be asked to return home if queues are too long.
Councillor Neil Emmott, cabinet member for environment at the council, said: "The decision to open the recycling centres will be welcomed by many, but I urge households to not visit unless essential, and where waste is causing a problem to health. Please consider your waste management and to think before discarding waste and avoid any non-essential clear outs to reduce the need to visit.
"Also, a reminder not to be tempted to book any unlicensed waste disposal companies for larger items, who may say that they will dispose of waste legally – this is sometimes not the case and residents are liable for prosecution if evidence is found. There are many legitimate disposal companies who can help to dispose of items, alongside the council who can offer a bulky waste collection should you have larger items."
The centres will be open at the following times:
- Chichester Street in Rochdale will open 8am-6pm, Saturday-Sunday only. This is to allow safe and straightforward access for council waste vehicles, to ensure service levels are maintained.
- Spring Vale at Middleton will open 8am-6pm, Monday-Sunday.
- The centre at Every Street in Bury will remain closed.
Residents are asked to check Recycle for Greater Manchester for up to date opening times as there will be a limited service available and not all recycling centres will be open.