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Edinburgh’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres to reopen

Posted: 28th May 2020
  • Recycling centres to reopen from Monday, 1 June, with changes in place to protect people’s safety
  • Public encouraged to only visit centres if it’s necessary, and to book ahead
  • Special uplifts will also resume from Monday

Edinburgh’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) will reopen from Monday (1 June), with changes in place to ensure the safety of staff and the public.

To minimise crowding and help staff and customers to maintain physical distancing, centres will reopen on an appointment-only basis. HWRCs are expected to be extremely busy at the beginning so we’re encouraging the public only to visit if necessary and if waste can’t be stored safely at home.

Time slots can be booked online from tomorrow afternoon though will be limited to one per household for the first two weeks of reopening. Anyone without an appointment will not be permitted to enter recycling centres. Full details of restrictions at each of the city’s three sites will be available online.

Special uplifts will also resume on Monday, 1 June, and we’ll be accepting online bookings for the collection of bulky items from Thursday, 28 May, with a maximum of five items per household.

Both services were suspended in March due to staff shortages and physical distancing guidance, as well as Scottish Government advice against non-essential journeys. However, in light of changes to guidance from the Scottish Government we will be able to reopen HWRCs at Seafield, Sighthill and Craigmillar. With enough crew members now in place we will be able to resume special uplifts too.

Council Leader Adam McVey said:

“We’ve been working extremely hard to deliver services as close to normally as possible and, as of Monday, HWRCs will be reopening, on an appointment-only basis. However, it’s likely recycling centres will be extremely busy at the beginning, so please only visit if you are unable to continue storing your waste safely at home and ensure you book an arrival slot if you are coming.

“It’s essential that we look after the health of all those who work in and visit our HWRCs, and there will be changes to the way they operate for the foreseeable future to allow us to do this. I’m grateful to residents for their patience as we have adjusted to this unprecedented situation, and I’d like to thank them for holding on to any bulky items, and those who continue to do so during the initial busy period.”

Depute Leader Cammy Day said:

“I’m pleased that, following Scottish Government guidance and as changes to allow crews to maintain physical distancing have bedded in, we’ve been able to reintroduce these services while ensuring the safety of our staff.

“It’s thanks to the efforts of our waste team that we have been able to resume this service, albeit on a reduced basis, and I hope that residents join me in recognising the commitment they’ve made to keeping the city moving during this difficult time. Please help us to protect workers’ safety, and your own, by following our guidance and only visiting HWRCs if it is absolutely necessary.”

A dedicated online booking system for HWRCs will be available on the Council website from tomorrow afternoon though it won’t be possible to book visits over the phone as our contact centre continue to focus on emergency calls. During the initial period only cars will be permitted on-site, no vans or trailers, and staff will not be able to help unload vehicles so please only bring what you can carry.

We expect there to be queueing at each HWRC upon reopening and there will be traffic management in place, including at Seafield, where we will be temporarily reverting to the old entrance on Fillyside Road for the first three weeks.

The special uplift service is expected to be busy during the first weeks, so there may be a wait for collections – check the council website for updates.

Residents can book an uplift on the Council website though not currently over the phone while phone lines are kept free so contact centre staff can deal with emergency calls. Special uplifts are charged at £5 per item and details of what we can and can’t collect are available online.

We also reintroduced garden waste collections from 12 May after they were suspended in April, while glass recycling collections, which were suspended in March, recommenced from 28 April.

Further information on changes to bin collections and other services can be found on the Council website.

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