Household Recycling Centres - Common questions

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Last updated: 08 January 2021

Visiting a recycling centre

When visiting you may expect:

  • A limit on the number of vehicles unloading 
  • Social distancing measures in place with visitors encouraged to wear masks.
  • Only residents who pay council tax to Buckinghamshire Council can use the sites. Slough Borough Council residents are able to use Langley and Burnham sites only.
  • Sites open usual winter hours (no booking required)
  • During busy periods, especially at weekends, last entry may be before 4pm to allow those already onsite to unload their waste and exit by 4pm

Before you visit please:

  • Check the webcams online to see how busy the site is and for the quieter times to visit.
  • Only visit if you cannot store your waste or use another disposal method such as the kerbside service.
  • Bring proof of address. 
  • Only allow one person out of the vehicle unless you need help unloading waste. Staff cannot offer assistance at the moment.
  • Come back another time if the site is busy.

Why do I need proof of address?

We need to prioritise access to Buckinghamshire residents that need it the most. So we are putting in place measures to ensure only Buckinghamshire residents visit. Slough residents are allowed to use sites at Burnham and Langley but will also need to show proof of address.

What if I forget my proof of address?

Our staff will ask for your address and postcode and check it against a list to allow Buckinghamshire and Slough residents to enter. We do not want to stop Buckinghamshire or Slough residents from visiting so staff will be sensible in this approach.

Is it safe to open?

Yes. We have put in place measures to keep staff and residents safe on site.

Should I wear a mask?

We would encourage all visitors to wear masks to help reduce the chances of spreading the virus. Our sites are outdoors and we have reduced the number of visitors on site at any one time to help reduce the spread. However, extra precautions like wearing a mask are always encouraged.

What if people don’t follow the rules?

They will be asked to leave the site. The sites will only remain open when it is safe to do so, and we of course take that seriously. If residents are acting in an irresponsible manner then we may have to close the sites and/or change the way we work.

Will you relax the rules if the queues get too big?

No. These new measures are in place for everyone’s safety. If the site is busy we ask residents to come back at another time. All sites have webcams which show how busy they are which can help avoid queues.

Why are you only letting one car in at a time?

As with many shops and businesses we have implemented strict social distancing measures to protect residents and staff when on site. We have limited the number of vehicles allowed on site so we can safely manage this. This may mean we operate a “one in one out” approach, just like a visit to the supermarket. We hope residents understand and will remain patient.

Is there extra cleaning on site?

Yes. The sites will be cleaned regularly and staff will be wiping down surfaces that are regularly used. We would ask that residents wear gloves wherever possible as they would normally when coming to sites.

Will staff be keeping 2m apart?

Yes, wherever possible. Staff have been trained in new social distancing measures. They may sometimes be closer than 2m but this is to manage the site effectively. National guidelines recognise it is not always possible in the waste sector to remain 2m apart, extra precautions are advised in such circumstances. We will review the current safety guidance regularly and have measures in place to increase their safety.

Are permits still in place?

Yes. Residents still need a permit it they want to bring a large vehicle or van. The permit system deters traders from using the sites and this is still important . Residents who only have access to vans or commercial vehicles can still visit, they just need a free permit from -

Are trailers allowed?

Yes. Trailers are now allowed on sites. Any trailers larger than 0.9m x 1.2m will need to get a permit

Why only one person outside the vehicle?

We need to manage social distancing at all times. Reducing the numbers of people on site makes this easier for staff and residents to keep 2m apart. Whoever loads the vehicle with waste should visit alone and unload the waste alone wherever possible

Can residents visit more than once?

Yes. There will be no tracking of the number of visits. However, residents must only visit if necessary to do so and this is unlikely to result in multiple trips.

What about residents with disabilities, will you offer assistance? 

We strongly advise against visiting the site if you are unable to unload your vehicle on your own. However, staff will take a sensible decision if a resident arrives on site and is unable to unload their own vehicle. For example, if they visit with someone who lives in the same home they could unload the car instead.

Are the reuse shops open? 

No. The reuse shops are closed during the lockdown as they are non-essential retail. Find out more about other ways to reuse items from your home.

Will businesses be allowed to visit?

Yes. Find out more on the Commercial Waste page.

Can residents from outside Buckinghamshire visit?

Only at Burnham and Langley sites where Slough residents can visit. No residents from outside Buckinghamshire can visit at the moment as we need to prioritise residents from Buckinghamshire as we first open. So only those who can provide proof of address will be allowed access. This will be reviewed regularly

Are all sites open seven days a week? 

No. Sites will remain on their usual opening days and hours before lockdown. Most sites are open seven days a week, but Aylesbury, Burnham and Chesham close on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Are you managing the queues?  

Yes. We had extensive traffic management in place to make entering and exiting the sites as safe as possible. The number of visits has since reduced and most of the traffic management has now been removed. We continue to ask residents to check the waiting times before they travel and to come back at another time if the queue is outside the site

Why haven’t you got a booking system?

A booking system was considered. However, we have learned from opening the five previous sites that a booking system would reduce the number of visitors we could allow into the sites each day. It would also involve extra administration costs and require extensive communication to residents. If residents only make essential trips our sites have capacity to deal with them all without queues

Why can Slough residents visit Burnham and Langley?

We have a long standing arrangement with Slough Borough Council where we let their residents use these two sites. Buckinghamshire Council receives income from Slough BC for this and is happy to help a neighbouring authority

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