RESIDENTS are being temporarily urged to reconsider visiting recycling centres across the conurbation due to a high number of people visiting the sites during lockdown.

Visitors to the area’s three sites, Millhams Community Recycling Centre in Bournemouth, Household Recycling Centre on the Nuffield Industrial Estate in Poole and Christchurch Household Recycling Centre on Wilverley Road, are up by 65 per cent compared to last year.

Dorset County Council have also urged to not visit household recycling centre  right now unless your waste cannot be stored safely at home.

Queuing vehicles have been seen blocking roads around the sites, impacting access to local businesses.

One of the recycling centres, Nuffield Recycling Centre, had queues of traffic waiting to enter the site as early as 9am this morning.

The traffic warden at the site said: “It was absolute carnage this morning, there were queues right down Nuffield Road and Hatch Pond Road.

“I think it is busy in the morning because people think they can beat the traffic, but everyone had the same idea.

“It has been constantly busy at all of the recycling centres for the last three weeks now.

“I think it has been busy recently because of the good weather over the weekend, people have been clearing stuff out and they have nothing better to do.”

Swanage and Wareham Voice:

All three Recycling Centres are working to reduced capacity with extra safety measures in place which has placed extra demands on the service. 

Councillor Mark Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cleansing and Waste said:

“In line with government guidance, our three Recycling Centres have stayed open to allow residents to make essential visits to get rid of the waste that can’t be stored safely.

"Recently we have been receiving exceptionally high numbers of visitors, up to 65 per cent higher than the same period last year and we’re putting in additional resources to manage this.

“We would however remind people that the message is to stay at home as we are still in lockdown, so we are urging people to consider whether they really need to make this trip at this time.”  

To manage this, additional officers are on site helping to manage queues, answer questions and advise people to return at a different time if necessary. 

Councillor Anderson added: “We realise that people have been spring cleaning their homes and gardens with the nicer weather and now want to get rid of the waste.

“We’re appealing to our residents that if they do have to visit our Recycling Centres, check our website prior to visiting to read about the safety measures that are in place and please be nice to all our staff as they’re working in extremely difficult conditions, trying to keep everyone safe on site.” 

Swanage and Wareham Voice:

Dorset Council is once again kindly asking everyone if they really need to visit an HRC, or whether they can keep their waste at home safely until social distancing measures are relaxed.

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.

Swanage and Wareham Voice:

“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 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. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.”