Restrictions on waste disposal set to ease at Lancaster and Carnforth recycling centres
Lancashire's recycling centres will be given a boost next week, although residents are still being urged to only make a trip to the tip if essential.
From Monday, March 29, residents will no longer be restricted to one type of waste when they visit their local centre.
The change was introduced last year as a means to ensure social distancing and reduce the spread of coronavirus by preventing residents mixing with each other during their trip.
Many people have reported long queues over recent weeks while trying to dispose of their waste.
A decision has now been made to relax the rule, as restrictions across Lancashire and the rest of the country ease in line with the government's roadmap.
The county council said the move will help free up staff at Lancashire County Council-run recycling centres, increasing capacity and reducing waiting times during busy periods.
It comes just in time for the Easter period, when demand is expected to be high.
With that in mind, residents are asked to only visit their recycling centres if it is essential, and to hold off attending if possible.
People are also asked to check Lancashire County Council's website to remind themselves of the restrictions at recycling centres, which are still in place due to the need to ensure people can visit safely.
Lancashire remains at a critical point, with Covid-19 still present in our communities and shifting to people of working age, the majority of whom are not vaccinated.
County Councillor Albert Atkinson, cabinet member with responsibility for waste management, said: "As we begin to ease many of the restitutions that have been put in place during the pandemic to keep people safe, we must also remember that Covid still poses a significant risk.
"The removal of the one waste type rule is part of a wider plan to ease restrictions at our recycling centres and should help ease waiting times and improve the flow of visitors.
"But we must remember that the pandemic is by no means over and must try to limit our visits unless absolutely necessary.
"This is particularly important as we head into the Easter period, which is traditionally very busy.
"We're therefore asking people to make best use of their usual household waste collections, and if they still have extra waste which they want to bring to a recycling centre, to delay their visit if they can.
"If you do need to visit a recycling centre, please make sure you check the county council's website before you visit to check opening times and to remind yourselves on the current restrictions.
"Please also be respectful to our staff, who have been working hard to support the public during these difficult times."
The easing of the one waste type rule is part of wider plans to facilitate the lifting of restrictions at recycling centres.
Another key change that is coming up is the return of inert waste facilities at recycling centres so residents can take advantage of them during the spring weather.
From Monday, 12 April, residents will be able to dispose of construction and demolition waste, also known as inert waste, such as plaster, plasterboard or asbestos.
There will be no requirement to obtain a permit to deliver inert waste from Monday, 12 April.
The following restrictions on the way the recycling centres work are still in place due to the pandemic.
• People need to be able to carry their waste from their vehicle to the skip as staff will not be able to help.
• Vans and trailers using recycling centres need to book an appointment before they visit.
• People cannot bring construction and demolition waste, and plaster, plasterboard or asbestos, until Monday, 12 April.
• People must not visit if they have any symptoms of coronavirus or should be self-isolating.
You can find out more about recycling centres at www.lancashire.gov.uk/waste.