A councillor has urged residents to use “common sense” and only visit a recycling centre “if absolutely necessary” after 15 sites in Essex were reopened yesterday.

As the coronavirus lockdown restrictions are loosed, residents are asked to only visit newly reopened centres for waste or recycling which cannot be stored at home without causing a health and safety risk.

Cllr Simon Walsh, Essex County Council cabinet member for environment and climate change action, said: “I am appealing for Essex residents to make a common-sense judgement – only visit a site if absolutely necessary. These are unprecedented times and we need you to help us.

“We must ensure the safety of residents and site staff, which is why a number of recycling centres are unable to reopen at this time.

Residents have been urged to use a “common-sense judgement” to decide if the household waste they have really needs to go to the recycling centre, or if it can be stored safely until recycling centres return to normal.

Cllr Walsh added: “New restrictions and social distancing measures have been put in place before any recycling centre reopens and we have worked hard on the processes that needed to be agreed before this date could be announced. Only items that cannot be stored without causing a risk of injury, health or harm should be taken to a recycling centre.

“I must stress the importance of only making an essential visit when absolutely necessary.”

To ensure the safety of residents and site staff, new restrictions are in place including a one in one out system – users may only visit sites in a vehicle.

Residents are asked to always maintain two metres distance from staff and other site users and only bring waste or items they can individually unload as staff are unable to help.

The 15 sites open in Essex

  • Braintree Recycling Centre
  • Brentwood Recycling Centre
  • Canvey Recycling Centre
  • Chelmsford Recycling Centre
  • Chigwell Recycling Centre
  • Clacton Recycling Centre
  • Colchester Recycling Centre
  • Harlow Recycling Centre
  • Maldon Recycling Centre
  • Mountnessing Recycling Centre
  • Pitsea Recycling Centre
  • Rayleigh Recycling Centre
  • Saffron Walden Recycling Centre
  • South Woodham Ferrers Recycling Centre
  • Witham Recycling Centre

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