Councillor Paula Widdowson, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change, has today written to Ministers to underline the need to safely reopen Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) for residents’ essential use.
Like most local authorities, City of York Council took the decision to shut its HWRCs last month, except for commercial use, in order to adhere to the government’s guidance on social distancing and to protect local residents.
The Council has since been working on plans to safely reopen the facilities, and has today requested that the Government issues clear guidance to the Council, Police and public on use of HWRCs whilst lockdown measures are in place. The letter also calls on the Government to reaffirm its commitment on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) availability for frontline staff, which will be a key factor in the reopening of the facilities.
Councillor Paula Widdowson, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change, said:
“We’re really keen, as I know residents are, that the Household Waste and Recycling Centres are open to the public as soon as possible. For this to happen, Councils require clear guidance, as do the Police and the public, in regard to what constitutes an essential journey to a HWRC. This will help prevent unnecessary risk to staff, and allow the Police to maintain the rules on essential travel with clarity.
“Management of waste has been just one of many areas disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Council’s frontline staff are doing an incredible job to collect household waste and recycling in difficult circumstances. I’d like to reiterate my thanks for all frontline staff at this time, and I look forward to our local Household Waste and Recycling Centres reopening once we receive the guidance and assurances on PPE we have requested from Ministers today.”