Public to access Suffolk’s Recycling Centres from Thursday by appointment only
A new online booking system will be in place when Suffolk’s Recycling Centres re-open on Thursday <May 14>. This appointment-only system is necessary to help reduce traffic disruption and queueing on roads around the sites and help manage additional demand on the waste sites. There are also new temporary restrictions and guidelines in place at all sites to support the safety of staff and members of the public.
Suffolk County Council has been working with its contractor FCC Environment to put plans in place to re-open all eleven sites to make sure that visits to the Recycling Centres are as safe as possible for residents and staff. In order to reopen the sites safely, people will need to book a time online when they can arrive and dispose of their waste. Through the online booking process, the council wants to limit the length of queuing on roads outside the Recycling Centres, which have occurred elsewhere in the country when sites have reopened. If you do not have an appointment, you will be denied access and turned away from the site.
Those who are shielding or at greatest risk of Covid-19 should continue to follow Government guidance and not visit a Recycling Centre.
There will be a phased approach to opening the sites fully in order to ease congestion and prioritise residents. There will also be a set of new temporary rules, which residents must check before arriving at the sites.
During phase one, these temporary rules include:
• No access to site without pre-booking
• Cars and pedestrians only – no vans, trailers or commercial-type vehicles
• One adult to unload, unless 2 adults needed for heavy items
• No staff assistance to unload vehicles
• No chargeable waste accepted (soil, rubble, hardcore or plasterboard)
• No trade waste
• No textiles or re-use items accepted
The booking system is designed to support social distancing by ensuring that only a safe number of visitors can access the sites at any one time. It will also help reduce waiting times for visitors and manage traffic to avoid a dangerous build-up of cars on the highway.
The booking site will be live from 3pm tomorrow <Tuesday 12 May>, with the first appointments being made for Thursday. To make a booking, please visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/recyclingcentresor call 0345 606 6067. In order to control the queues residents without a booking will not be able to enter the site. Residents must not arrive on site more than 5 minutes before their allocated time.
In line with the Government’s recommendation, Suffolk County Council is urging residents to only make a booking if their waste or recycling cannot be stored safely at home or disposed of through other legitimate routes. Visitors are also advised to wash their hands before and after visiting site and gloves should be worn during the visit. Pre-sorting waste into material type before visiting the site will help to speed up your visit and reduce waiting times.
Each of the eleven sites has a detailed traffic management plan, along with a maximum number of people that will be allowed on site at any one time to maintain safety. The traffic plan has been worked out in partnership with Suffolk Highways, to limit the impact on roads around each site.
Any waste you have which is contaminated or suspected to have being contaminated with COVID 19 must be double-bagged and kept at home for 72 hours before it is brought to site.
Suffolk County Council will be reviewing the temporary rules each week, but will only be able to move towards the normal way of operating the sites when it is safe to do so.
Paul West, Cabinet Member for Waste said: “We want to thank all Suffolk residents for bearing with us whilst the Recycling Centres have been closed.
“When social distancing and the lockdown was introduced by the Government, a decision was made to temporarily close the centres across Suffolk. This was in line with other sites across the UK.
“The new pre-booking system is designed to keep the public and staff as safe as possible on our sites. This controlled approach to the re-opening the centres will reduce waiting times as well as traffic congestion. We realise that there will be a large demand for appointments and ask residents to be patient during the first few weeks and only bring waste or recycling that cannot be safely stored at home.
“In the meantime, please don’t be tempted to dump or fly-tip the waste that would in normal times go to the Recycling Centres. This remains a criminal offence and prosecutions will be sought.”
People who are, or have anyone in their household, suffering from Covid-19 symptoms, or have been diagnosed as having the virus must not visit Recycling Centres. Please follow the government’s guidance on self-isolating and shielding.
Suffolk County Council closed Recycling Centres from 24 March in response to Government guidance on essential travel. All other authorities in the region also closed their sites and over 90% nationally have done so.
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Citizens Advice Mid Suffolk can give advice on problems at work, help people struggling to pay their bills and work out if people are getting all the financial help they are entitled to. They are a local charity and their advice is free. They are open Monday – Thursday 9.30am – 3.30pm and Friday 9.30am – 12.30pm. People can call them on 01449 676060 or contact them via their website: https://www.midsuffolkcab.org.uk/contact-us/
Mid Suffolk – Beware COVID-19
Opportunistic traders and scammers are taking advantage of the vulnerability of those panicked by the coronavirus – since February The National Fraud and Intelligence Bureau has identified 21 victims of fraud linked to the coronavirus, with more than £800,000 being stolen nationally. The sale of fraudulent health products is one of the tactics used by scammers in an attempt to deceive the public. Fraudsters are sending messages or creating websites containing information about ‘miracle’ products, including convincing personal testimonials or a conspiracy theory backstory. These testimonials are easy to fabricate and are not a substitute for scientific evidence or government guidance. Currently, there are no approved vaccines or drugs to prevent coronavirus, although treatments are in development. This isn’t the only retail scam that victims can fall prey to, as the coronavirus outbreak worsens, there have been numerous reports nationally about scam websites claiming to sell face masks online. Phony shop fronts have also been set up selling other highly sought after items such as anti-bacterial hand sanitiser. To protect themselves consumers should only make purchases from reputable stores and websites. The best way to avoid getting scammed is to buy directly from a seller you know and trust. If you are making purchases from an online store you haven’t used previously, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. Always ensure the company is legitimate and has working contact information before you share personal details such as your name, address and card information. Should you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases. Fraudsters are also capitalising on the public’s good nature – there has been an increase in fake charities being set up, with scam emails claiming to be a government programme developing a coronavirus vaccine, being sent to persuade people to donate to fake fundraising efforts. A charity’s authenticity should always be verified with the Charity Commission before making donations.Phishing emails, in which con artists impersonate the World Health Organisation, is another tactic used by scammers. These messages claim to have news about the disease and prompt readers to download malicious software. The best way to combat falling victim to this is to only use trusted sources – such as legitimate government websites for up to date, fact based information about COVID 19. Be wary of e-mail attachments and avoid clicking on links in unsolicited e-mails. Do not reveal personal or financial information in e-mail, and do not respond to email requests for this information. You can protect your devices from the latest cyber threats by always installing the most up to date software and apps. If you think you have may have been approached by fraudsters or fallen victim to a scam please report this to Suffolk Trading Standards, via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, on 0808 223 1133
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