Household Recycling Centres - Common questions

OPEN - Amersham, Aston Clinton, Buckingham, Beaconsfield and High Wycombe sites are open seven days a week, 9am-6pm. 

CLOSED - Aylesbury, Burnham, Chesham and Langley sites are closed but will reopen at 9.00am on Friday 29th May.

Check all opening times here

Before you visit our sites please:

  • Carefully consider if your trip is essential. Only visit if you cannot store your waste or use another disposal method.
  • Bring proof of address. Only Buckinghamshire residents will be allowed to use this site.
  • Check waiting times online and don't arrive before the sites open. If there is a queue outside the sites please come back another time.
  • Remember social distancing measures are now in place, this also means no assistance for unloading can be provided.
  • Do not bring a trailer, the permit system is still in place, but trailers will not be accepted at sites
  • Only allow one person out of the vehicle whilst on site.

We have answered some questions that you may have:

What is an essential trip? Residents should only visit an HRC to dispose of waste that is posing a risk of injury or harm to health if left at home. Most waste can be safely stored and we encourage all residents to store waste wherever possible.

What waste can I bring? We cannot provide a list of waste that is okay to bring. It depends on whether the waste cannot be stored safely and or poses a risk of injury or harm to health. Staff at the entrance will be asking residents about their waste to make sure residents are only making essential journeys.

Why do I need proof of address? Other councils will take decisions about reopening at different times. We need to prioritise access to Buckinghamshire residents that need it the most. So we are putting in place temporary measures to ensure only Buckinghamshire residents visit.

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 residents to enter. We do not want to stop Buckinghamshire 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. However, residents should still be staying at home and only visiting the sites when absolutely necessary. 

What if people don’t follow the new 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 queues are too big then it is likely that some residents are making non-essential journeys.

When will you open the other sites? When we have established this new way of working is safe and effective we will then consider the opening of the other 4 sites on a case by case basis. If residents only make essential trips, as per Public Health England guidance the 5 sites can easily cope. We need to ensure residents carefully consider whether they can wait a week or two to visit the HRC.

Why shouldn't vulnerable residents visit? Public Health England guidance states that vulnerable residents, including those over 70 should be strictly limiting interactions with other people. We will not be asking for proof of age and rely on residents taking Public Health England advice seriously.

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.

Why is the layout of each site different? Each site was built at a different time and is very different in size and design. We have had to change each site slightly to allow staff and residents to keep 2m apart. This means that the sites will look different and we may change the layouts again to make sure we can manage staff and residents safely.

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.

Why aren’t trailers allowed? Residents should not need to bring more waste than can fit inside a vehicle. The five sites are opening for essential trips only, where the waste cannot be store safely at home. We will review this decision regularly

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 -

Why 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.

Will the reuse shops be open? No. Visiting a reuse shop is not essential travel. The reuse service is offered as part of charity arrangements; the charity sector is currently closed. We do not want to encourage non-essential travel

Will traders be allowed to visit? No. The service is prioritising residents from Buckinghamshire and will not have capacity to allow traders in. This will be reviewed regularly.

Can residents from outside Buckinghamshire visit? Only at Burnham and Langley 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 regularlyWhy didn’t you open earlier? We closed the sites as a trip to the HRC was not classed as essential, so residents wouldn’t be making trips to the HRC as it would be against Public Health guidance. It has taken sometime to clarify and whilst there has been no change in law, we have discussed this with Thames Valley Police and the government and both are happy with our approach.

Are all sites open seven days a week? – No. Sites will remain on their usual opening days and hours before lockdown. All sites will be open 9am-6pm. 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 have extensive traffic management in place to make entering and exiting the sites as safe as possible. This management may cause temporary disruption to the local area but we hope residents heed the warnings and only visit if essential.

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 BC 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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