Cumbria Household Waste Recycling Centres to reopen with restrictions in place

posted 6 May 2020, 03:49 by Fiona and Mark Shore

Cumbria County Council can announce today that we will reopen our Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) from Tuesday 12 May following an agreement with Renewi Cumbria Ltd and Cumbria Waste Management, the companies that operate the sites. The sites will initially offer a restricted service in line with Government guidance on reopening HWRCs published on 5 May 2020.

In common with most other local authorities, the sites were closed in response to the Government lockdown and movement restrictions introduced in March. However, the Government guidance issued on 5 May 2020 advised councils they could reopen HWRCs, only where waste or recycling could not be stored safely at home or disposed of through other legitimate routes such as a dedicated collection and if social distancing could be maintained.

Following this, agreement to reopen all 14 recycling centres has been secured through detailed discussions with Renewi and Cumbria Waste Management about how the sites can be run in line with Public Health England guidelines, to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19 and to protect the health and safety of the public and site staff.

Councillor Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member for Environment said: "Our District Council colleagues have done a great job in continuing to operate their waste collection services throughout this difficult time, but we know how much the household recycling centres have been missed, and our officers have been working really hard to get them to be able to safely re-open at the earliest possibility. 

“However we would ask that residents only attend the sites for essential visits where they cannot safely store their extra recycling and waste at home and to be prepared to wait patiently, especially in the first few days of opening whilst the staff and the public become accustomed to the new way of working.

“The health and safety of both staff and our residents is our absolute priority and I’d like to thank you for your patience and resilience throughout these recent unprecedented times."

Detailed inspections at HWRC sites across the county have been carried out to make sure that each facility can operate in line with Public Health England guidelines, with social distancing strictly observed by staff and visitors at all times.
The Authority is currently working with the Police on their respective plan. 

  • The following Site Rules (which are in line with Government guidance) will apply:
  • All 14 HWRCs will be open on/from 12th May 2020. 
  • Journeys to HWRCs must only be undertaken if your waste or recycling cannot be stored at home safely or disposed of safely by other means. By this we mean the waste cannot be stored without causing risk of injury, health or harm. 
  • The sites are accepting normal waste streams with the exception of asbestos.Please do not bring asbestos to site but arrange for professional removal in due course.(Waste streams may be subject to change at short notice due to the ability to service the sites). 
  • Ideally only one person should attend, but if one additional passenger has to visit site, they must be from the same household. 
  • Strict social distancing measures will be in place across all HWRC sites, which means that the number of visitors will be limited.If long queues form, people may be asked to go home and return another day/time. 
  • All site users must adhere to the 2 metre social distancing rules in place. 
  • The site operatives will not be permitted to help carry your waste, please do not ask them to and only bring what you can safely carry. 
  • No vans, trailers or commercial vehicles of any type will be allowed on site. 
  • No one should attend the site if they are shielding and/or self-isolating due to possible Covid-19 symptoms. 
  • If any household had Covid-19 symptoms, then the waste should be left for 72 hours before being brought to site. Waste should be doubled bagged. 
  • No pedestrians will be allowed on the site. 
  • The current permitting scheme (for vans and pedestrians) will continue to be suspended and no permits will be issued. 
  • Please check the council’s website before setting out to a HWRC 
  • PLEASE NOTE: There are likely to be long queues to gain access to the sites.

Residents are advised to visit the council’s dedicated web pages for further information on their local Household Waste Recycling Centre, including site information, opening times and site rules and restrictions - visit . Regular updates will also be provided on the council’s social media channels.