By KLTV Newsdesk
Kirklees Council will have a new approach to household waste recycling centres from the 11 May.
The council, like the majority of sites across the country, closed its sites due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now following advice from DEFRA, the council, alongside the other West Yorkshire authorities is looking to provide access to the centres so that residents can dispose of waste that they cannot safely store at home.
The new service will have a number of new restrictions to make sure everyone can follow social distancing measures.
To limit the number of people at the site at any time, the council is only allowing people to visit on their own.
To reduce the time people are spending at the site and speed up queuing as much as possible, residents can only visit the sites in their car, so no large vehicles, vans or trailers.
As staff and other visitors will have to keep 2m away. Residents visiting the site will have to carry their items to the skips on their own.
The sites permit system will remain in operation so that only Kirklees residents can make a trip to the sites.
Residents are encouraged to register online at www.mykirklees.gov.uk if they haven’t already.
They are also asking people to wash their hands before and after visiting and to be respectful to staff.
The council is expecting there to be significant queues, as the measures to keep everyone 2m apart mean that staff at the site will only be able to let a few cars into the centres at a time.
The council expects the queues to be especially long during the first week and is asking people to put off their visit for a few days, if possible until demand settles down.
When the sites open, people will be able to visit the council’s website to check the latest queue times and plan their journey for when the sites are less busy.
However, they will close the queue if it is causing issues for blue-light services and other keyworkers or if cars are unlikely to get to the front of the queue before closing time.
More information about the new service will be available on the council’s website and social media accounts over the coming days.
Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council said: “After carefully taking everything into account, I am really pleased to announce we are able to open our tips.
“We are working with our colleagues across West Yorkshire to make it possible for local people to dispose of waste that they cannot store safely at home.
“We know that people are making more waste than usual, as families are spending more time at home. Whilst it is important to do everything we can to minimise what we throw away, we know it can still be a struggle for some people to get everything in their bins.
Unlike some places, we have not seen a surge in fly-tipping, and I would like to say a big thank you to Kirklees residents for working with us and disposing of their waste responsibly.
“I have spoken to many of our residents and I know that they will welcome this news and will support the way we will re-introduce the opening of our waste recycling centre.
“We have managed to keep all our waste collection services open throughout this time, and I would also like to pay a special tribute to our front line staff who have all been exceptional in these extraordinarily challenging times.
“This is not the re-starting of the old service, but the introduction of a new service in unprecedented times. The latest government advice makes it clear that a trip to the household waste recycling centres can be included in the essential journeys criteria if it helps keep people safe.”
Cllr Rob Walker, Cabinet Member for Environment said: “We recognise that having access to the household waste sites is important for many people, nobody wants bags of waste rotting outside their home. However, I urge you to think about whether you really need to visit before making the trip.
“Now really isn’t the time to start creating waste, whether that’s from DIY or clearing out storage spaces at home.
“Please help us to keep the queues as small as possible by continuing to store things safely wherever possible.”