Update on waste services in Birmingham (Tuesday 5 May 2020)

Published: Tuesday, 5th May 2020

As part of the ongoing review of services during the coronavirus pandemic, Birmingham City Council is now able to restore a key waste service to residents.

Four of the city’s network of five Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) will re-open on Thursday (May 7). The HRC at Castle Bromwich will remain closed until further notice due to urgent road works outside the entrance to the site. The following HRCs will be open to the public:

  • Lifford Lane, Kings Norton, B30 3JJ
  • Holford Drive, Perry Barr, B42 2TU
  • Norris Way, Sutton Coldfield, B75 7BB
  • James Road, Tyseley, B11 2BA

The four sites are expected to be very busy, so residents are advised to plan ahead, considering quieter times of the day and only make a visit if it is absolutely essential.

The HRC opening hours at sites in Kings Norton, Perry Barr, Sutton Coldfield and Tyseley will be limited until further notice to:

Monday to Friday: 11am to 8pm

Saturday and Sunday: 8am to 2.30pm

Vans and trailers will not be permitted at any site and only one person should be in each vehicle that visits an HRC. The only exceptions to this are lone parents who have no other option but to travel with children and Blue Badge holders, who are allowed to be accompanied by one family member.  Only one adult will be permitted to exit the car when on site.

As usual, those going to the sites need to produce ID to prove they live in the city, which they will be asked to show against closed car windows.

And given the coronavirus pandemic is not over, social distancing will be maintained on sites at all times, which means the sites may operate in a different way to normal. Therefore, the staff on site will not be able to assist the public with their waste disposal/unloading - to ensure social distancing rules are upheld.

Each of the HRCs has a “view the queue” webcam to help inform on the likely waiting times at our four open sites, which are likely to be lengthy as vehicle numbers on site will be restricted.

As an alternative, bulky waste collections, which were suspended several weeks ago, can now also be booked again. For full details and to reserve a slot, please visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/bulkywaste

If households have had COVID-19 symptoms waste should be left for at least 72 hours before disposal and personal waste should be safely double bagged. This applies when putting rubbish in household bins, when visiting the HRC or if putting out the materials for a bulky waste collection.

Cllr John O’Shea, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Parks, said: “I know there have been concerns over what to do with waste that would normally be taken to our Household Recycling Centres during their closure.

“We had to close them on public safety grounds as part of our effort to ensure social distancing to protect the NHS and save lives – as well as the fact that trips to the HRC were not listed as an essential reason for travel in the Government’s regulations

“As such, we’ve been reviewing daily what we could do to open up some of the related services which have also had to temporarily stop whilst we respond to the national emergency.

“I am pleased we have got to the point where we can now offer bulky waste bookings, and following recent changes to Government guidelines on essential travel – we can open most of the HRCs again.

“But it’s clear the HRCs will be very busy when they do re-open, so I’d ask people to start planning in advance, only go to the recycling centres if it is absolutely essential and consider if our bulky waste service might be of use in the meantime.

“We are not yet in a position to open up our paid-for garden waste service for new customers but the bulky waste service enables a customer to dispose of up to 20 bags of rubbish (including garden waste), so this is an alternative.

“We did consider a booking system for the HRCs but decided that it was impractical to implement reliably at short notice, so we’re looking to the people to use the service wisely and be patient if there are any delays at the site.

“As our supermarkets and other essential retailers have had to change the way they do business, so have we at the HRCs, but we will restore a normal service as soon as we can.

“But I must stress that the sites are likely to be very busy so would ask people to delay their visits unless there is absolutely no other option.”

The key workers at the Household Recycling Centres, operated by Veolia, will not tolerate abuse of any kind and reserve the right to refuse entry if there is a display of such behaviour.

Mark Powell, General Manager at Veolia, said: “Our frontline teams are working hard to ensure sites remain open during these extremely difficult times, but cannot help residents directly as social distancing rules must stay in force.

“It is important, now more than ever, that they are treated with respect so we continue to provide a safe place for the citizens of Birmingham to use this essential service.”

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