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Re-opening Barkers Lane Household Waste Recycling Centre, new facility at Oasis and reinstating Bulky Waste Collection

May 8, 2020 5:58 PM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Mayor Dave HodgsonBedford Borough Council will be re-opening the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) on Barkers Lane on Monday 11 May. Bookings must be made in advance and some restrictions apply.

In addition, from Monday 11 May, to help with any remaining backlog of garden waste, the Council is opening a new site in the Oasis Swimming Pool car park off Cardington Road. This site is for Bedford Borough residents only, and proof of address (such as a utility bill or Council Tax bill) will be required. The Council is also restarting bulky waste collections on Monday 11 May, so larger items can be disposed of that way.

Residents will be able to bring their garden waste, without appointment, to the Oasis site and empty any bags or containers of garden waste into large bins. This facility will be open from 9am-5pm, from Monday 11 May for one week initially, then it will be reviewed. Only cars, 4x4s, and small vans up to 1500kg will be able to use this service. The Oasis site is purely for green waste, no other waste will be accepted.

To give people an option to dispose of their waste, if it cannot be safely stored at home or disposed of through the normal kerbside collection, the Government has announced that councils can open their local tips. The Council has been working with other local authorities, and the contractors operating the HWRC and is now able to open the site in a safe way, in line with Government guidance during the coronavirus outbreak.

Given the ongoing seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak and guidance still in place there have had to be some changes to how the HWRC will operate. Access to the tip will be via a one way system on Barkers Lane accessed only from Newnham Avenue.

To ensure the site is not overwhelmed and so that everyone can follow social distancing guidelines, anyone planning to visit must book a slot. There will be 15 minute slots available which must be booked at least a day before you plan to visit, and will be available to book up to 14 days in advance. You will be asked to show your booking to a member of staff, it does not need to be printed; on a phone screen will be accepted. Anyone coming to the HWRC without a booking will be turned away.

If you visit the HWRC you will see that there is a new layout at the HWRC. This is to make sure that people do not have to walk past each other to get to the different bays, so they can keep social distancing.

Due to this new layout, larger vehicles will not be allowed to visit the HWRC to begin with. Initially, only cars, 4x4s and small vans, up to 1500kgs, will be allowed into the tip. This new layout also means that containers cannot be emptied or the site cleaned effectively during opening hours so the HWRC will be open from 9am-5pm, 7 days a week, to give staff time to do these tasks at the beginning and end of the day.

There will be a reduction in the types of waste that can be disposed of at the HWRC: general rubbish, garden waste, recycling, small electrical appliances and small items of furniture will be accepted. Any other waste including fridge/freezers, DIY waste or textiles will not be accepted as a number of disposal sites are still closed.

To ensure that everyone is safe and social distancing, site staff will not be able to help people unload items from their vehicles. The Council is also restarting bulky waste collections on Monday 11 May, so larger items can be disposed of that way.

Councillor Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Environment said "I know how much the tip is valued as a service for people, and I'm really pleased we have been able to re-open it in a way that is safe for the public and for staff. These are challenging circumstances and we have had to make some changes to how the tip operates. Through the booking system we hope to keep queues down but we will be operating a one-in/one-out system, similar to what you will have experienced at the shops in recent weeks, so we do ask for your patience as there may be a wait to dispose of your waste. Please abide by social distancing guidelines during your visit to the tip, wear gloves, and make sure you wash your hands after your visit to stay safe."

To book a slot to visit the HWRC, please call 01234 718013.

To book a bulky waste collection, please call 01234 718060. There is a cost of £37.20 for up to 5 items, and £57.40 for 6-12 items.

Bedford Borough Council has restarted garden waste collections, on a monthly basis for the time being, To find out when your next garden waste collection will be, please visit www.bedford.gov.uk/bins