Environment

Council issues fresh appeal to recycling centre visitors not to queue on the roads

Waste recyclingWaste recycling

Posted on: 13 May 2020

The phased reopening of Devon’s Household Waste Recycling Centres for essential use only has gone ‘relatively well so far’ says Councillor Andrea Davis, ‘but we are experiencing some problems with traffic queuing back onto the public highway causing a safety issue, which we’re having to address.’

Public safety is paramount to Devon County Council, but despite their appeals for the public to use the recycling centres only when they’re unable to store waste safely at home or legally dispose of it some other way – with repeated warnings that there will be queues and therefore people should delay their visits – some recycling centres have seen traffic stretching back along the highway, causing safety concerns.

Both Sidmouth and Exmouth Recycling Centres had to close temporarily yesterday (Tuesday) to disperse the queues, because of the risk they posed to other road users.

While recycling centres have re-opened just for essential trips, only cars are currently allowed on site in order to minimise the time it takes to unload, and to maximise throughput.

However, social distancing means the number of vehicles safely allowed within the sites is roughly a third to a half the usual capacity. Site staff are unable to assist visitors with unloading of waste, so it’s sometimes taking drivers a little longer to drive through. With high levels of demand, queues are expected.

So the council is appealing again to the public to keep the highways clear.

Photo of Councillor Andrea Davis

Councillor Andrea Davis

Councillor Andrea Davis, the Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for the recycling centres, said:

“I’d like to thank everyone who is using the recycling centres sensibly for their current ‘essential trip only’ purpose.

“However, we’re issuing a fresh appeal today for the public to not queue on the highway. It’s causing a safety problem, for others as well as themselves.

“We are open for essential trips only, and we intend to stay open in a managed and safe way. If we feel that the situation is becoming unsafe, we will as a last resort close a site temporarily in order to disperse traffic off the highway.

“It’s not at all an ideal solution and we’d rather it not get that far. But if we deem it necessary for the safety of other road users, we’ll do it.”

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