Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) in England will be permitted to remain open during the national lockdown announced by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, last night (4 January).
This comes as the UK’s Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum has said it will be releasing a ninth version of its information document for managing coronavirus risks for waste management activities later this week.
This will not include any “significant changes”, but will largely be a technical update to take into account improvements in scientific understanding of the virus.
In newly released lockdown guidance released by the government, “waste or recycling centres” were listed as a public service, the majority of which will continue and people can leave home to visit them.
This comes after HWRCs were closed during England’s first national lockdown in March, before being reopened in May after Defra said there is “no reason in law” why they should close.
Despite closing recycling centres during its two week ‘fire-break’ lockdown in October (see letsrecycle.com story), the Welsh government has allowed visits to HWRCs despite moving the country into tier 4 restrictions on 19 December.
In Northern Ireland, HWRCS are also permitted to open during its six-week lockdown announced on 26 December.
In Scotland, the government issued guidance explaining that the public can leave their home to access public services such as waste or recycling services, as part of its lockdown which came into law today.
Known as INFO13, the WISH guidance document was regularly updated since it was released in March and gives advice on managing COVID-19 (coronavirus) risks in the context of a range of waste management activities.
The WISH guidance document was last updated in August when version 8 of the guide was released(see letsrecycle.com story), and Chris Jones, chair of the WISH Forum, said the organisation has been preparing version 9 over the Christmas period.
In a statement to letsrecycle.com today (5 January), Mr Jones said: “WISH has been keeping INFO13 under constant review and was preparing the latest update, version 9, of the document over the Christmas period. This does not include any significant changes of approach and is largely a ‘technical’ update to take into account improvements in scientific understanding of the virus, ongoing experience of the application of the various control measures and inevitably expanded and updated links to other documents”.
“WISH has been keeping INFO13 under constant review and was preparing the latest update, version 9, of the document over the Christmas period”
He added: “Previous versions of the information document already contain the information, and experience, gained from the previous lockdowns for users to take into account in any arrangements they make for the current lockdown. We expect to publish the update document later this week.”