Wiltshire Council is ending its online booking system for visits to its household recycling centres (HRCs), so people will soon be able to return to visiting a site during normal opening hours on an ad hoc basis.
These changes will come into effect from the date that the Government confirms social distancing requirements will be ended, currently proposed to be 19 July, and will be subject to any public health requirements at that time.
The council will plan for the online HRC booking system to stop taking new bookings the week before the return to non-booked visits, so if social distancing restrictions are eased from 19 July, the council will stop taking bookings from 12 July.
Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Waste, said: “The HRC online booking system was always intended to be a temporary measure, so we could manage the number of people on site at any one time to ensure effective social distancing to keep staff and residents safe.
“We have listened to residents who have shared their concerns about the booking system, and coinciding with the further lifting of national COVID restrictions, we’ve decided to remove it.
“In the next month, so long as Government restrictions are eased and public health guidance allows, people will be able to attend their chosen site at a time of their choosing without needing to book a slot online.
“In order to ensure a smooth transition, and so long as the Government confirms that social distancing will be ended nationally, on 12 July the online booking system will stop taking new bookings, and on 19 July, visits without a booking will resume.
“If the Government decides not to end all restrictions on this date, the dates for returning HRCs to non-booked visits will also change, and we will update with more information on this as soon as we are able to provide confirmation.
“It’s possible that the updated public health guidance may still require some restrictions to HRC operations to keep everyone safe, and we will also confirm this closer to the time.
“I’d like to thank the public for their understanding during these challenging times, and as lockdown continues to be eased and restrictions are lifted, we can now look forward to making it easier for people to visit our HRCs.”
There are ten HRCs in Wiltshire; each site has different opening times and some can take different types of waste, so people are advised to check opening times and what they can take to their local HRC before setting off. There may be queuing at peak times.