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Suffolk recycling centres to reopen on Thursday by appointment only

Recycling centres in Suffolk will reopen on Thursday (May 14) - but access will be by appointment only.

Suffolk County Council said a booking system is designed to support social distancing by ensuring only 'a safe number of visitors can access the sites at any one time'.

The authority said bookings will also 'help reduce waiting times for visitors and manage traffic to avoid a dangerous build-up of cars on the highway'.

Waste Hub, in Fornham Road, Bury St Edmunds
Waste Hub, in Fornham Road, Bury St Edmunds

An online booking site will be live from 3pm tomorrow (Tuesday, May 12).

Cllr Paul West, cabinet member for waste, said: “We want to thank all Suffolk residents for bearing with us whilst the recycling centres have been closed.

“When social distancing and the lockdown was introduced by the Government, a decision was made to temporarily close the centres across Suffolk. This was in line with other sites across the UK.

“The new pre-booking system is designed to keep the public and staff as safe as possible on our sites.

"This controlled approach to the re-opening the centres will reduce waiting times as well as traffic congestion. We realise that there will be a large demand for appointments and ask residents to be patient during the first few weeks and only bring waste or recycling that cannot be safely stored at home.

“In the meantime, please don’t be tempted to dump or fly-tip the waste that would in normal times go to the recycling centres. This remains a criminal offence and prosecutions will be sought.”

There will be a phased approach to opening the recycling centres fully to ease congestion and prioritise residents.

There will also be a set of new temporary rules, which residents must check before arriving at the sites.

During phase one, these temporary rules include:

• No access to site without pre-booking.

• Cars and pedestrians only - no vans, trailers or commercial-type vehicles.

• One adult to unload, unless 2 adults needed for heavy items.

• No staff assistance to unload vehicles.

• No chargeable waste accepted (soil, rubble, hardcore or plasterboard).

• No trade waste.

• No textiles or re-use items accepted.

To make a booking, visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/recyclingcentres or call 0345 606 6067.

In order to control the queues residents without a booking will not be able to enter the site.

Residents must not arrive on site more than five minutes before their allocated time.