Among the recommendations to be considered is an extension of the booking system enabling residents to choose and secure a time period for taking their bulky household waste to their nearest centre. Originally introduced to manage the number of visitors on-site at any one time and ensure social distancing rules could be adhered to, the system has also successfully eliminated queuing, congestion and pollution on surrounding roads. Consideration is therefore being given to retaining the system when social distancing requirements are removed, which will also allow a significant increase in the number of slots available at each site.
It is also proposed that a charge of £5 for non-Hampshire residents visiting HWRCs in the county, suspended during the pandemic response, should be reinstated. This measure is designed to enable residents from surrounding areas, who wish to continue to use Hampshire sites, to deposit their bulky waste without the additional costs falling on Hampshire council tax payers.
These arrangements do not apply to Southampton and Portsmouth residents and, thanks to a financial agreement between the respective local authorities and Hampshire County Council, the charge would not be payable by individual residents living in Dorset or West Sussex (who visit Hampshire sites).
Pedestrian access trial
As well as helping to manage queues, increased demand and capacity as social distancing measures are removed, keeping the booking system in place would also enable the Authority to test the feasibility of allowing residents to access HWRCs on foot.
A six-month trial allowing pedestrian access is proposed to be undertaken at three HWRCs: Hedge End, New Alresford and Waterlooville. If agreed, the trial would begin in July 2021, permitting residents living near to those centres, to walk-in and drop off their waste during dedicated pedestrian only access times. This would be on a controlled basis for one hour, up to three mornings a week.
The trial will be continuously monitored to ensure that any issues are identified quickly. A full assessment will be completed once the trial has ended.
Agreement is also being sought to implement the removal of glass banks from HWRCs, from 1 July 2021, following a decision made in October 2020 - that was to be implemented from 1 April 2021 but was postponed due to the pandemic response.
People can find out where their district/borough/city council collects glass, as well as where their nearest glass bank is, on the Recycle Now website
Decisions about the proposals will be made by the Executive Lead Member for Economy, Transport and the Environment, Councillor Rob Humby, at a public meeting on 17 June.