Green Waste Services to start and Household Waste and Recycling Centres to reopen

Plans to resume bulky waste services, green bin collections and reopen Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC’s) have been agreed by City of York Council.

The council paused these services in April to ensure household waste and recycling collections were given priority whilst protecting the health and safety of frontline crews by implementing social distancing measures.

These steps were taken as a result of extraordinary pressures on frontline services during the outbreak of Coronavirus with a significantly reduced workforce and concerns about the risk of infection. By taking this decision, more crews and vehicles were able to focus on collecting household waste and recycling to protect both frontline staff and residents.

The Government has issued new guidance which advises Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRC) should open when this can be done safely. This has enabled York to review the decision on waste and recycling centres.

However, Government guidance remains that people should only leave home if their journey is essential, so you should only visit a HWRC if your waste or recycling cannot be stored at home safely or disposed of safely by other means. This means 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. If you can temporarily store your waste or recycling in a way that does not pose a risk to yours or others safety or human health, then you should continue to do so.

Yesterday the council announced that:

  • from Monday 11 May household waste and recycling centres will reopen by appointment only (including for commercial waste)
  • on Monday 11 May bulky waste collections will resume (telephone: 01904 551550)
  • on Monday 18 May green bin collections will start

Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Environment, said:

"I’m pleased to announce that all of our waste services will resume over the next two weeks. The wellbeing of residents and our staff has been our number one priority and we have explored all options to restart our waste collection services.

"Our staff have reacted incredibly well to this challenge, as key frontline workers, I am grateful to them for putting communities first. Many have been driving in separate vehicles behind the bin lorry to keep socially distant, ensuring we can continue to collect household waste and recycling, weekly, from 90,000 homes in York. I’d also like to thank residents for their support and patience following the initial difficult, but necessary, changes to waste services. Unlike other areas of the country York hasn’t seen an increase in fly-tipping and we are grateful to all residents and businesses for their support.

We have listened to residents and have worked hard to find solutions that keep everyone safe, whilst allowing waste services to resume and Household Waste Recycling Centres to open. Following my letter to the Secretary of State seeking further support and guidance to resume our services, the government released updated guidance. The guidance advises that journeys to tips must only be undertaken if your waste or recycling cannot be stored at home safely or disposed of safely by other means. We know many people have been busy gardening and tidying their homes over the last few weeks, and by opening the centres and starting green bin collections we hope residents will be able to more comfortably enjoy their homes and gardens."

Wherever possible, residents are encouraged to recycle and compost. We have published advice for composting at home and, for those unable to compost please continue to store garden waste and we will collect it when the service resumes in the coming weeks. It will take several collections before we are back on top of the green bins collections and we know our residents will help us in this.

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