Restricted access to Household Waste Recycle Centres during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Advice for non-essential rubbish during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Before you travel to a Household Waste Recycling Centre

You should think about the following

  • Please check whether council collections of garden, bulky, or other wastes are available before travelling to a HWRC. If available, you should make use of council collection services rather than travelling to a HWRC.
  • If you cannot store items at home, consider making use of retailer take-back services or making your old items available for immediate re-use via on-line platforms such as Freecycle or Gumtree. Make sure you follow social distancing and related guidance and that it is safe for you to move the items in question.
  • Check the Reuse Network website (opens in a new window) to see if there are options available for small businesses or charities in your area to mend or repurpose your furniture and appliances. This may also be a good opportunity to repair, repurpose or re-use items such as old furniture or clothes yourself which you would usually throw away.
  • If none of these options are available to you, you could use a private registered waste collection company, although there will be a cost if you do this. Remember, you have a duty to make sure you know where your waste is going and to ensure that the person collecting your waste is registered. You can do this by checking the Environment Agency’s website (opens in a new window).

Disposing of waste in the wrong way damages the environment and can be illegal

  • Please do not put things in your rubbish bin that you would normally recycle or take to the tip. Most household collection services are continuing as normal, so there is no reason to put things in your rubbish bin that you would normally put in the recycle bin. If there is currently no service in your area to recycle electrical appliances and garden waste, please hold on to them until services resume. You can check your council website for updates.
  • You must not dispose of household waste in a way that could harm people’s health. This includes burning it - burning household waste is an offence, liable to prosecution. Please make sure that you make full use of your local authority’s waste collection services and follow local advice.
  • Don’t fly-tip or dump waste it’s a crime. Leaving items on the street or in parks, woodlands and fields is fly-tipping. This is a crime, and local authorities and the Environment Agency have a range of powers to tackle it including fixed penalties of up to £400, or prosecution. Even if you mean well, leaving items outside charity shops, or next to full recycling bins, is still fly-tipping. You can report fly-tipping to your local authority via the GOV.UK website (opens in a new window) and find out more information at Tackling Fly Tipping website (opens in a new window).
  • On your return from the HWRC please remember not to touch your face and to wash your hands for 20 seconds on arrival at your destination.

Further information on recycling during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Head to the Recycle Now website (opens in a new window) for more information on recycling during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.