Towards the end of the first day when both of West Berkshire’s household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) reopened (Thursday 14 May), we want to thank all those who visited for playing their part and being patient with our staff.

The sites at Newtown Road and Padworth opened their doors at 9:00am this morning and it was great that residents adhered to the new booking system, listened to site staff instructions on using the site safely, and maintained social distancing measures the Council has introduced.

The experience of visiting our HWRCs will temporarily be different and residents should only visit the recycling centres if waste cannot be safely stored at home.

The Council advice is:

  • Booking is compulsory and can be done online here: https://citizen.westberks.gov.uk/clickandtip.  
  • Check online to see if all waste materials can still be taken to the site.
  • Check the site layout when loading waste into your car. Use these site maps to help you when packing your vehicle: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/recyclingcentres.
  • Check travel times and any restrictions in place. Please arrive at your allocated time that you have booked online and not any earlier. There may be delays accessing the site and possibly queues of waiting vehicles. Please bear with us as we work safely on the site to limit contact between people.
  • Ensure you have your permit, or ID and proof of West Berkshire address with you.
  • Bring a copy of your booking confirmation with you – either a print out or on your phone.
  • Only bring what you can physically carry as we are operating a one person per car restriction – our staff cannot help with your waste when you are unloading your vehicle. Under exceptional circumstances only, and at the sole discretion of site staff, two people may be allowed to leave the vehicle to dispose of the waste e.g. if they are removing a heavy or bulky waste item.
  • Follow the instructions that site staff will give you and also be polite to members of staff.
  • Observe the social distancing measures in place by keeping at least 2 metres apart at all times when visiting the recycling centres.
  • Follow Public Health England guidance – residents who are vulnerable, or who are showing symptoms which may indicate Coronavirus, should not visit household recycling centres.

Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter, Executive Member for the Environment at West Berkshire Council, said: “We have been working hard behind the scenes to get both sites open and we knew today would be very busy with people bringing in their waste and recycling. Traffic impacts and queues have been manageable due to the booking system in place plus West Berkshire residents have played their part by being considerate, bringing their proof of ID and adhering to the revised site layouts.

“We did have to turn away a small number of residents who hadn’t book an appointment, which is compulsory, and a few vehicles with trailers as these are not allowed at the moment.

“We know things at both sites will be busy for the foreseeable future, so I hope people will bear with us. My main plea to residents is to consider whether they can wait a few days or longer before visiting their nearest site. The more we can stagger waste coming in, the less traffic queues and the easier it will be for everyone.

“We are back up and running at both sites as they were before but with some restrictions in place for the health and safety of both staff and residents. Being open from 9:00am to 6:00pm, seven days a week, means there’s plenty of time to visit over the coming weeks if you can possibly wait.  

“I’d like to add my thanks to all the West Berkshire Council staff, together with staff from our site operators, Veolia, for their combined efforts to get both sites open so quickly for our residents in a safe and efficient way. In addition I’d like to extend my thanks to our partners Volker Highways and Thames Valley Police for their continued support during this time.”

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