Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “When we reopened the Household Waste Recycling Centres, with social distancing restrictions in place as required by Government advice, we expected demand to be high. As such we implemented traffic management measures across all our sites to help manage the flow of traffic and make it as easy, and as safe, as possible for the public to drop off their essential waste and recycling.
“However, with demand exceeding that in many other parts of England, long queues have been forming so I would urge residents to only travel to our HWRC’s if absolutely essential. We are reviewing our traffic management plans on site and will do what we can to try to improve throughput at the sites, but if severe traffic disruption continues at individual sites, we will have to consider whether the sites can stay open. Visitors who choose to visit, should expect to queue, potentially for some considerable time before entering."
He added: “If you can, please store your waste safely at home, and visit us at a later date.”
Some 4,000 visits have been made to Hampshire‘s HWRC’s each day since they re-opened which, by the end of the week, will equate to almost 30,000 visits in total, despite the appeals to limit to essential visits.
Each site is currently operating temporary revised daily opening hours of 10 am – 4 pm, with social distancing measures in place for the safety of staff and the public.
Anyone who has had COVID-19 symptoms in the last 14 days, or who lives with someone who has been symptomatic in the last fortnight, should not travel to, or enter an HWRC. After this period, any COVID-19 contaminated waste should be double bagged and put aside for 72 hours before being brought to a site.
The start date for the HWRC vehicle registration scheme has been postponed in light of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. However, the online vehicle registration system
remains open in readiness for implementation later this year.