Green Waste Services to Start and Household Waste and Recycling Centre’s to reopen
Plans to resume bulky waste services, green bin collections and reopen Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC’s) have been agreed by City of York Council.
The council paused these services in April to ensure household waste and recycling collections were given priority whilst protecting the health and safety of frontline crews by implementing social distancing measures.
These steps were taken as a result of extraordinary pressures on frontline services during the outbreak of Coronavirus with a significantly reduced workforce and concerns about the risk of infection. By taking this decision, more crews and vehicles were able to focus on collecting household waste and recycling to protect both frontline staff and residents.
The Government has issued new guidance which advises Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRC) should open when this can be done safely. This has enabled York to review the decision on waste and recycling centres.
However, Government guidance remains that people should only leave home if their journey is essential, so you should only visit a HWRC if your waste or recycling cannot be stored at home safely or disposed of safely by other means. This means the waste cannot be stored without causing risk of injury, health or harm. No other reason for the journey would be considered a legitimate purpose. If you can temporarily store your waste or recycling in a way that does not pose a risk to yours or others safety or human health, then you should continue to do so.
Yesterday the council announced that:
From Monday 11 May household waste and recycling centres will reopen by appointment only (including for commercial waste).
On Monday 11 May bulky waste collections will resume (book by calling 01904 551550).
On Monday 18 May green bin collections will start.
Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Environment, said: “I’m pleased to announce that all of our waste services will resume over the next two weeks. The wellbeing of residents and our staff has been our number one priority and we have explored all options to restart our waste collection services.
“Our staff have reacted incredibly well to this challenge, as key frontline workers, I am grateful to them for putting communities first. Many have been driving in separate vehicles behind the bin lorry to keep socially distant, ensuring we can continue to collect household waste and recycling, weekly, from 90,000 homes in York. I’d also like to thank residents for their support and patience following the initial difficult, but necessary, changes to waste services. Unlike other areas of the country York hasn’t seen an increase in fly-tipping and we are grateful to all residents and businesses for their support.
“We have listened to residents and have worked hard to find solutions that keep everyone safe, whilst allowing waste services to resume and Household Waste Recycling Centres to open. Following my letter to the Secretary of State seeking further support and guidance to resume our services, the government released updated guidance. The guidance advises that journeys to tips must only be undertaken if your waste or recycling cannot be stored at home safely or disposed of safely by other means. We know many people have been busy gardening and tidying their homes over the last few weeks, and by opening the centres and starting green bin collections we hope residents will be able to more comfortably enjoy their homes and gardens.”
Wherever possible, residents are encouraged to recycle and compost. We have published advice for composting at home and, for those unable to compost please continue to store garden waste and we will collect it when the service resumes in the coming weeks. It will take several collections before we are back on top of the green bins collections and we know our residents will help us in this.
Hazel Court and Towthorpe will reopen from 11 May by appointment only for everybody, including commercial waste customers and for essential use only.
The Government has advised that journeys must only be undertaken if your waste or recycling cannot be stored safely at home or disposed of safely by other means. This means the storing of this waste risks injury, health or harm. No other reason for the journey would be considered a legitimate purpose. If you can temporarily store your waste or recycling in a way that does not pose a risk to yourself or others then you should continue to do so.
A waste disposal booking system- click before you tip – will launch at www.york.gov.uk/ClickBeforeYouTip on the afternoon of Thursday 7 May. On completing the booking form, residents and commercial customers will be given a date and time to visit the centre and a booking reference. Residents will also be able to book a slot by calling our customer centre on 01904 551550. Spaces are limited though and the initial booking slots will be for the next two weeks, with slots for later dates becoming available soon.
Rules around commercial waste use still apply and no trade waste will be accepted at weekends.
Sites will only be accepting bagged domestic waste and garden waste from residents. Chargeable Waste (such as brick rubble) can normally be brought to Hazel Court only.
We will not be accepted chargeable waste at Hazel Court from residents at this time (to reduce contact between site staff and members of the public that a transaction of this nature would require).
Entry to the Household Waste and Recycling Centres will be granted based on registration numbers given when booking a slot but residents are asked to bring your booking reference with them. If the registration of the vehicle does not match the booking then the vehicle will be turned away from the site.
Strict social distancing will be in place, including:
There will be no help to unload waste and place it in the skip. Please ensure you can empty your vehicle yourself – only one person will be permitted outside of the vehicle.
The booking system will manage the queues
Trailers, vans and pickups will require a permit to visit site as is usual and will be treated as commercial waste and invoiced at the normal rates
Staff will be on site to ensure social distancing guidelines are maintained.
Commercial users will need to stop at the weighbridge as per normal site procedure. Invoicing for disposal of this waste will be in place Further details on how to access the waste disposal booking system will be made available on Thursday 7 May via www.york.gov.uk/ClickBeforeYouTip or by calling 01904 551550.
The service will start again on Monday 11 May and include items collected at the kerbside of properties such as furniture, bed bases, mattresses, garden chairs, and other larger household items.
Those who had bookings cancelled due to the changes will be called by the council to arrange a collection, should they still want one.
The council will continue charging £22 to collect up to 10 bulky items.
If communities are working together to arrange a joint bulky waste collection then we ask that they maintain social distancing with their neighbours whilst doing so.
Green bin collections will restart from Monday 18 May. Collections will be as per the previously circulated calendar, and we will be updating www.york.gov.uk/RefuseLookUp by 16 May for people who want to check.
For the first collection please present full green bins only, additional garden waste will not be collected on this first collection. As you will appreciate we have a backlog which we need to clear, the first step in clearing the backlog is to empty every green bin. This may take us longer than usual, so if we do not get to your green bin on the day advertised please leave the green bin out and we will get to you as soon as we can.
Please do not place bags in the green bin for the next collection. We know it will take three or four collections before we have cleared all of the green waste. Please store or compost any additional waste which cannot fit in the bin and put it in the green bin for the next collection. Please remove the waste from any plastic bag/ container before placing in the green bin, as plastic contaminates the compost created from resident’s garden waste.
In order to collect recycling we are doing some limited mixing of the three boxes of recycling, but this is being sorted at Harewood Whin.
This video explains the process from collection to recycling waste.
FAQS for waste services:
How do I book a slot at the centre?
To book a slot please visit our waste disposal booking system on www.york.gov.uk/ClickBeforeYouTip or contact us on 01904 551550. This will be open from the afternoon of Thursday 7 May.
Both residents and commercial waste customers need to make appointments.
The slots are on a first come first served basis and will be available for the next two weeks, with slots for later dates being added in the coming weeks.
Tips will be staying open later. The opening hours of the household waste and recycling sites will be 8.30am-7pm. Hazel Court is open 7 days a week. Towthorpe will be closed on Wednesdays but open on the other six days.
Your booking will be confirmed against your vehicle registration, if they do not match you will be turned away from the site.
What have you done to make Towthorpe and Hazel Court safe to visit?
Strict social distancing measures are in place. Unfortunately, this means that our colleagues will be unable to help remove waste from vehicles. This means you must be able to unload your vehicle yourself or you will be returning home with your waste.
The waste disposal booking system has been introduced to ensure social distancing guidelines are maintained and that traffic queues into the sites are managed.
We will have a number of staff present to ensure that residents can safely dispose of their waste, ensure that everyone maintains socially distant restrictions and the traffic is under control. Traffic management will be in place for Towthorpe. For safety reasons it will be left turn only to enter the Household Waste Recycling Centre and left turn out.
Access into the site will be from the A64 direction, turning left into the site and exiting left towards Strensall Road. This will ensure congestion along Towthorpe Moor Lane is kept to a minimum. We appreciate people’s understanding.
The staff will not be able to assist you in unloading your vehicles or placing the waste in a skip.
How can I find out when my green bin collection will happen?
We are starting green bin collections from 18 May
Information on your next collections can be found on your previously circulated waste calendar. We will also be adding the dates at www.york.gov.uk/RefuseLookUp as soon as possible
I don’t drive so won’t be able to attend a household waste recycling centre?
Green bin collections will restart on 18 May and information of when your collection will take place can be found on your waste calendar and will be made available on www.york.gov.uk/RefuseLookUp soon.
In the meantime we are asking people to compost their garden waste (information is available at www.york.gov.uk/composting) or store it so it can be collected.
Residents should avoid burning garden waste for two main reasons;
Green and fresh/damp garden waste can be especially smoky when burned, causing a smoke nuisance to neighbours, preventing them from enjoying their gardens, opening windows or hanging washing out.
Most of York is a smokeless zone, so it is an offence to have bonfires in most gardens.
What has changed so you can now collect green bins?
We have been listening to residents and working tirelessly to look at options so we can start the green bin collection whilst ensuring we keep frontline staff and residents safe.
We have explored numerous options, including partitioning the cab on the waste vehicle (similar to screens used in supermarkets), however following discussions with the vehicle manufacturer this was deemed unsafe.
We have now made some changes to how we collect recycling which has freed-up capacity so we can start garden waste collections. Some of this recycling will be sorted at Harewood Whin, this process is explained in our video.
In addition, the government has now made clear that visiting household waste and recycling centres are a valid reason to leave home in some circumstances. We have also worked with the Police to ensure they view this is an essential journey and so avoid any resident being fined for making this journey.
How have you been keeping the frontline safe and implementing social distancing?
City of York Council has followed the social distance advice from Government for all members of staff. In waste this has meant that instead of the usual four crew members in the cab there are two, with another crew member following in the vehicle behind. Frontline crews are provided with appropriate PPE based on an assessment of risk on the advice of Public Health.
The council is taking all necessary precautions, including wearing appropriate PPE, following guidance on hand washing/wearing gloves, hand gels and wipes and providing daily advice to the frontline.
Any frontline staff who develop symptoms will follow government guidance and will go into self-isolation at home. www.york.gov.uk/coronavirus
What has the council been doing to bolster frontline services and ensure some collections continue?
The council has reallocated resources from other teams, so that it can continue collecting household waste (grey bins /black bin bags) and recycling boxes.
This includes redeploying staff from other services such as public realm and highways. The council is also working hard to increase its staff resource, including training a number of First and Pullman bus drivers, together with processing the applications made in response to the council’s urgent recruitment to support the refuse collection service.
By temporarily stopping green waste collections, additional vehicles were made available to enable waste crews to socially distance, whilst collecting waste and recycling. Other measures are also being taken to support our waste crews, including wearing appropriate PPE based on the advice of Public Health. This also includes being issued with wipes, hand gel and new gloves every day.
Check when your bins will next be collected, get the latest service updates – all online at www.york.gov.uk/waste
I joined and paid for the green bin subscription service, do I get a refund?
Unlike some local authorities as a council we don’t charge residents for the first garden waste collection. We are looking after those residents who have paid for an extra green bin by honouring all collections this year for all green bins including if their subscription has expired during the period of Coronavirus.
We will be honouring all additional green bin subscriptions, including expired subscriptions .We will not be issuing refunds or opening the scheme to new subscribers at this time.