Hemel councillor asks why local recycling centre will stay closed

The Household Waste Recycling Centre in Berkhamsted will re-open next week

Thursday, 7th May 2020, 2:42 pm

Liberal Democrat county councillor Ron Tindall has asked why the waste and recycling site in Hemel Hempstead will remain closed next week – as a number of others re-open to the public.

At a meeting of the county council’s special cabinet panel on Wednesday (May 6) it emerged that 10 of the ‘household waste and recycling centres’ (HWRC) will re-open on Monday, May 11.

They are the centres at Berkhamsted, Bishop’s Stortford, Harpenden, Letchworth, Potters Bar, Rickmansworth, Royston, Stevenage, Turnford and Waterdale.

The HWRC in Hemel Hempstead (C) Google Maps

But at the meeting Cllr Tindall asked executive member for community safety and waste Cllr Terry Hone why the Hemel Hempstead site had not been included in the plan.

Cllr Hone told the meeting that the 10 sites had been chosen, based on access criteria and the ability to maintain safe distancing once inside.

It is understood that a ‘one-in, one-out’ system will operate to limit the number of vehicles allowed in.

And within the centres there will be pathways for visitors, who will have to queue at a safe distance.

Cllr Hone said some sites had been excluded because it was not believed they could maintain the safety of staff or the visiting public or traffic.

Following the meeting it was stressed that the centres were only being opened for residents to dispose of waste that could not be put in their regular recycling bins or safely stored at home.

According to the county council, residents should only visit a HWRC if it is absolutely essential, for example if storing the waste at home represents a genuine health or safety risk.

And they stress that anyone in self-isolation, or with COVID-19 symptoms, must not visit the HWRCs under any circumstances.

Following the meeting Cllr Hone said: “Although these sites are reopening, I would urge people to only visit if it’s genuinely essential.

“Most types of waste can be put in normal kerbside bins for collection, or stored safely at home, and this is a much better option at the moment.

“The social distancing measures we’re putting in place to protect our staff and the public mean that visits will take a lot longer than normal and we’re expecting very long queues.”

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