If you can store your excess waste at home, you should do so.
Dorset Council is concerned that the county’s recycling centres are straining under increased visitor numbers.
The recent warm weather has seen people working in their gardens and consequently they have been eager to drop off excess garden waste and wood, resulting in long queues for the tips.
The problem has been exacerbated because safety restrictions remain in place, meaning that access to each HRC still hasn’t returned to pre-COVID levels. For example, parts of each site may have been sectioned off to help with social distancing, there can only be one person on the access steps at any given time and on-site staff are not permitted to physically help visitors unload and drop off their waste.
As a result, vehicle access and visitor time on site is slower than usual. Some people have been making multiple trips per day, while others have even complained about the delays in being able to access each site, while contributing to the traffic problems.
There is also the potential for disruption to kerbside services around Sherborne and Blandford, as queuing traffic causes problems for collection vehicles that need to access the sites to tip waste collected when emptying bins.
Cllr Jill Haynes, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services, said, “I completely understand that people want to get on with their usual activities and pastimes, including gardening or even having a clear-out. These can be a great way of being productive while everything remains closed. But these activities produce waste, and everyone needs to remember that the whole country is still very much in lockdown.
“HRCs are open to deal with essential waste; they are not an invitation for people to make a ‘trip to the tip’, especially when public health guidance states we should all be avoiding unnecessary travel right now.
“We don’t want to reintroduce costly traffic management measures, or start scrutinising the types of waste that are being dropped off, but we also cannot excuse the sheer number of visitors who are doing frivolous tip-runs at a time when everyone is being asked to help contain the virus by staying at home whenever possible.
“If you can keep hold of your waste safely at home, then please do so until restrictions have been lifted. If you are gardening, please consider home-composting or signing up for our garden waste service.”
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