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Re-opening Staffordshire's waste recycling centres

We are working hard to keep Staffordshire as clean and safe as possible. Following government guidance we are reopening all 14 Recycling centres on Thursday 14 May, with temporary rules and traffic management in place, so that Staffordshire residents can visit them for essential use only

We urge residents to only visit a Recycling centre if it is essential and you cannot safely store excess waste at home or dispose of it through your usual kerbside collections. All visitors will need to observe social distancing measures and the number of cars allowed on site will be restricted, so be prepared for longer waits than normal.

In partnership with Amey, who run the centres for us, we have put the following rules in place to protect the public and staff from the risk of spreading infection. These rules will remain under constant review.



Site rules

The Recycling centres will operate with the following rules. Specific site rules follow underneath. Please ensure that you read and follow this guidance before deciding to visit:

Anyone who is self-isolating or has COVID-19 symptoms must not visit a Recycling centre. 

  • Please note: If you have waste that you suspect or is contaminated with COVID-19 material, please ensure that is bagged twice and has been isolated for at least 72 hours before bring it to the site.
  • A strict limit to the number of vehicles allowed on site at any one time.
  • Only one person will be permitted per vehicle. Where younger children can’t stay at home, they will be allowed to visit but they must not get out of the car.
  • Only cars and vans which fit under the height barrier (6 foot 6 inches, or 2 meters in height), will be admitted. No trailers or pedestrian ‘walking on’ of waste will be allowed. This will be continuously under review.
  • Only bring items that one person can safely load and unload.
  • Amey staff will be unable to assist with unloading vehicles.
  • Only one visit will be allowed per day, and registration numbers will be recorded.
  • No trade, charity or commercial waste will be accepted.
  • Asbestos, chemicals, oils, paints and donations for re-use will not be accepted. They will need to be stored safely at home until we're able to safely process them. We will publicise when we are able to accept these materials.
  • The public must respect the strict two-metre rule both from staff and other site users.
  • Use of the sites is restricted to Staffordshire residents only. 
  • Please keep your windows closed unless a member of site staff signals for you to lower it to listen to instructions

There will be staff on the gates to the Recycling centres to help you, keep you safe and make sure you can complete your trip in as quick a time as possible. Please listen and follow their instructions and remember the extra guidelines in place will cause significant delays, so please be patient. We estimate our sites will only take an average of three cars unloading at any one time, so around 20 cars per hour. Staff are working hard in difficult circumstances to keep their site operating. Please treat our Recycling centre staff with respect.

Please be assured that Amey take their responsibility for your health and safety and that of their staff very seriously. Their operatives are following government and industry guidance on personal hygiene.



Frequently asked questions

These frequently asked questions (FAQs) have been created to ensure that the Recycling centres are only being used to enable visits which are essential to prevent injury, illness or harm to residents.

Why are you opening the site? Is it safe?

Following government guidance where a visit to dispose of essential waste at a Recycling centre is classed as an essential journey, we've managed to put in practical arrangements and can now open our Recycling centre sites in Biddulph, Billbrook, Burntwood, Burton, Cannock, Cheadle, Leek, Lichfield, Newcastle, Rugeley, Stafford, Stone, Uttoxeter and Wombourne to help maintain the integrity of the whole waste collection and treatment network. It is for essential use only.

The shared Recycling centre, Lower House Farm site at Atherstone, managed by Warwickshire County Council, reopens on Monday 18 May. To control the vehicle numbers on site, residents need to pre-book a 15 minute slot with Warwickshire County Council.

We're following government and industry guidance and have worked with Amey to agree the best approach based on local conditions and within agreed safety guidelines. Safety is Amey’s priority and all site users are expected to follow the rules published above.

What do you class as essential use?

Those visits which are essential to prevent injury, illness or harm to residents who have a problem with storing too much waste at home. For more information, see our planning your visit page. 

What will happen when I visit a site?

Each site has their own set of guidance. Information will be displayed explaining what that is. Staff will be on the gates to advise you when to enter the site. Please pay attention to any one way systems put in place, container labels and only put your waste in the correct container. Please do not use containers that have a barrier or signage saying ‘not in use’.

Once on the site, your vehicle will be held in a waiting area until it is your turn to unload. Site staff will then direct you to pull into the unloading area following the previous vehicle leaving. Please do not exit your vehicle or start unloading until site staff signal it is okay for you to do so.

I have a disability. Can someone attend the site with me?

An additional person may travel with you if you have a disability and require assistance, however, only one person will be allowed to leave the vehicle to unload the waste.

Why aren't you open for everyone to use?

We appreciate that it is unsightly to keep waste that's not collected at the kerbside at home, but the Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented and we must all work together to concentrate on beating the virus. The government advice remains that the public should only leave their homes for essential reasons. This is to ensure that the risk of spreading the infection is limited as much as possible, therefore our sites are only open for essential visits, which are defined above. We're keeping up to date with government guidance and will open the sites for all as soon as it is safe to do so.

I need someone to help unload my vehicle. What do I do?

Social distancing at 2m will be strictly enforced and operatives cannot assist the public at this time, so please don't bring any waste to site for the time being that can't be unloaded by one person.

Which sites are open?

Biddulph, Billbrook, Burntwood, Burton, Cannock, Cheadle, Leek, Lichfield, Newcastle, Rugeley, Stafford, Stone, Uttoxeter and Wombourne are open for essential use only. Lower House Farm will open on Monday 18 May for essential use only.

Will the sites be open under their normal opening days?

On Thursday 14 May all sites, including those usually closed, will be open. 

Sites will then return to their normal open days which vary from site to site although all sites are open on weekends. Please check the latest information on opening times and days.

Will the sites be open under their normal opening hours?

No, initially sites will open at 9am on opening days but shut at 5pm to allow additional time for the team to manage material and undertake additional cleaning. Opening hours will be kept under review.

If there are very long queues to enter the site, then staff will close the queue earlier in the day to allow all queuing vehicles to access the site before the gates are closed at 5pm.

How long will it take to complete my visit?

The site is operating under a one-in-one-out system. Therefore, it is expected that there will be significant delays.

Additional regular cleaning will also be undertaken for hygiene and health reasons, along with regular compaction of containers to make space for more waste. During these time periods site staff will ask all members of the public to remain in their vehicles until these tasks are complete and will signal when it is okay for you to begin unloading. This may mean you spend a little longer on the site than usual.

Please be patient - we appreciate it might be frustrating but be assured that staff are working hard in difficult conditions to get you through as quickly and as safely as they can. 

My waste is normally recycled but I have had to use a mixed/general waste bin. Will materials be recycled?

The sites are open for essential use only. They're operating under difficult circumstances, and our priority is to allow essential users the opportunity to dispose of their waste safely. We may need to combine some containers to ensure social distancing rules are met, and this will mean that some waste that is normally recycled may go to our energy from waste facilities. This is why we must ask you to ensure you only visit the site if absolutely necessary, otherwise please hold onto your waste until we reopen as normal, when usual recycling opportunities can be made use of.

Why don’t you offer an appointment-based system?

This would mean additional contacts from our already stretched contact centre or making it online only – not all households have access to online facilities. This would be difficult to manage practically on site due to social distancing.

Why can’t I visit the Recycling centres in a large van or trailer?

For a limited period, we're restricting site users to cars and vans which fit under our height barriers (6 foot 6 inches, or 2 meters) only. This is to assist with us being able to ensure social distancing when you unload from your vehicle, and managing traffic levels and unloading times.

Why are you limiting the number of vehicles onto the Recycling centres?

This is to follow the government guidelines of social distancing, and to ensure that users and employees keep a safe distance of two metres where possible.

Will I have to queue to get on to the site? 

We're expecting delays to enter the site as we're having to limit the number of users disposing of their recycling and waste at any time. This is to ensure that we're following the government guidelines on social distancing, and to ensure that users and employees keep a safe distance of two metres where possible.

We're asking residents to think carefully about whether it's essential to visit the site, and to store waste at home where possible. This will help to reduce traffic to the Recycling centres. We're updating these webpages and social media channels constantly so please check before you go. Please be patient as we're working as hard as we can.

Can I bring charity waste or donations?

Unfortunately at this time we are unable to accept charity waste or donations for items for reuse. Please safely store your donatable goods until charity services resume.

My visit isn’t essential. When will the sites open without the Covid-19 restrictions?

We're keeping up to date with government guidance, and as soon as it's safe to do so we'll confirm back-to-normal arrangements. Please check this website, local press or social media for updates. 

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

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