Life staying at home would be a lot more comfortable if we coul dhave a big tidy-up and get rid of the unwanted stuff. All over Europe the sites are open or opening, so what about Lincolnshire?
Only two places in England kept recycling sites open; the commercial sites in Sheffield and the community-run sites in NE Lincolnshire. Now the pressure is on to make arrangements reopen them safely.
Cllr Marianne Overton repesents us on the Council of European Municipalities and Regions European Section of United Cities and Local GovernmentsAG_21April 2020 Outcome of the short survey on the state of play of recycling centres in Europe CEMR Expert Group on waste and the circular economy where all our waste is reused.
Some countries are starting to relax restrictions introduced as part of a general “lockdown. In some cases, this includes the re-opening of recycling centres (container parks). The re-openingof such infrastructure raises concern for local authoritiesfacing multiple challenges :a rising demand from the citizens and the requirements to protect both the users and workers of this centres. This short survey aimed at collecting information about the management of recycling centres in time of covid crisis; It vey was conducted on 20.04.2020 (link to the form). In a very short timeframe, CEMR Secretariat received a number of 15contributions from 12countries (some countries, like UK, Germany or Austria, have different national associations –see CEMR members page)
What is the policy regarding the opening of recycling centres and how to protect users and workers ? The policy regarding the opening of the recycling centres varies from one country from one other, and there are sometimes also differences between the regions within a same country. For example in Austria, all recycling centres were closed, except those in the Tyrol region. To date, almost half of the Member Associations reported that the recycling centres have re-opened; after a first phase of closure at the beginning of the lockdown. The second half of the contributionsaccountsstates that the recycling centres remained open, most of the time with restrictions. In only one country (UK), the vast majority of centres remained closed. 288210123456789 Remained open Remained open with restrictions Re-opening with restrictions Re-opening as normal Remain closed for now State of play of the recycling centres opening policy 15contributions from 12countries
The implementation of the following restrictions in the recycling centres were mentioned:✓Fewer visitors are allowed at the same time(temporary appointment system)✓Recommendation to use the recycling centre only for urgent disposal✓Protective mask and gloves mandatoryfor users and workers✓Reduction of the opening hours ✓Limitation of the amount of waste✓Cash free payment✓Respect of social distancing✓Users to stay in their car in the waiting line and no access to the premises✓No more assistance from workers to unload the waste✓No access to the centre for vulnerable and sick/quarantinedusers.
2.What are the reasons behind the re-opening of recycling centres? The survey demonstrates that the re-opening of the recycling centres doesn’t in majority comes from a progressive move towards the relaxation of the lockdown. On the contrary in most countries, the re-opening was decided to face specific challenges met at local level, although the propagation of the pandemic remains a huge concern for the population. In countries where recycling centres were closed but have now re-opened, was this at the beginning of the lockdown, recycling centres had to close for different reasons : first, the recycling centres were not able to ensure social distancebetween the users. Moreover, many municipalities expected staff shortages due to the coronavirus. They started to prioritise the services provided to the citizens and decided to focus on the door collection of residual waste. However, due to the confinement, citizens have been decluttering their home, as well as taking care of their garden much more than usual, and they have not been able to get rid of their waste. Therefore, Mayors have been facing a lot of pressure to re-open the recycling centres. For example in Slovenia, the Ministry responsible for waste collection sent a letter to the Slovene local representatives to make sure they provide the continuity of public utility service for the citizens.
Another important concern which led to the re-opening of the recycling centre is the unprecedent rise of fly-tipping (illegal dumping of waste) and thecost that it would occurs. In other cases, the recycling centres operators decided to re-open the centres to allow the continuation of the recycling measures. For example, the collection of garden waste in order to meet the needs of the waste treatment plants to produce compost.
What criteria to assess the requirements to re-open recycling centres? General relaxation of the confinement rules 44%; Reaction to face pressing issues 56%
In France1, there is no requirement to re-open recycling centres. However in certain regions, an agreement was found with the national representatives (Préfecture) taking into account the following criteria :-evaluate the availability of the recycling center agents-evaluate whether the reopening to the public is likely to prejudice the pursuit of other higher priority activities such as household waste collection and selective collection, sorting and treatment of waste, etc.-ensure that the health security conditions (social distancing measures, barrier gestures) can be respected for the agents of the recycling centers and for the public-evaluate the nuisance caused by the wild deposit of bulky items or green waste.Many thanks to the associations whichcontributed to the survey : -Local Government Association, United Kingdom-Association of Urban Municipalities of Slovenia-SYVICOL, Luxembourg-Province of Utrecht, The Netherlands-Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities-Welsh local Government Association, United Kingdom-Austrian Association of Cities andTowns-Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments-Austrian Association of Municipalities-Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities, Belgium-Association of Finnish Municipalities-German County Association-Association of German Cities-Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions-Association of Towns and Commun