Derry City and Strabane District Council has announced its intention to reopen five of its 11 Recycling Centres to the public from next Monday, 18 May.
The announcement comes following an announcement by the NI Executive earlier today that the disposal of waste is constituted as an appropriate reason for travel.
The five recycling centres at Pennyburn, Strathfoyle, Glendermott Road, Claudy and Strahan Road in Strabane, will reopen on Monday 18 May, from 8 am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8 am to 6pm on Saturdays.
Both Pennyburn and Strahan Road sites will also open from 1-5pm on Sundays. The remaining six sites will remain closed for now, with Council regularly reviewing this.
A number of restrictions and controls will be in place at all centres to ensure the health and safety of staff and the public using the site, in consideration of social distance requirements.
In addition to having in place a one-way system, the Council has advised that in keeping with the DAERA guidelines, the number of cars accessing the sites at any one time will be restricted.
Large vans or trailers will not be permitted access to the sites when sites initially reopen to improve traffic flow and reduce waiting times. Only one person will be permitted to leave their vehicle to dispose of waste with staff unable to provide assistance.
The public are asked to avoid bringing bulky waste onto the site during the initial reopening phase and encouraged to continue to use the Bulky Waste Collection Service and to also avoid visiting the recycling centres during peak times in the afternoon.
Anyone intending to dispose of black bags must ensure they are double bagged and have been stored for a 72-hour period before disposal, as per PHA guidelines.
In order to protect staff and the wider public, social distancing is required within all the sites and the public will be required to unload their own waste. Members of the public experiencing symptoms or who are self-isolating must not enter the recycling centres.
Council will have staff on hand to offer guidance only however, it is imperative that the public adhere to their instructions at all times and co-operate fully with them as they continue to provide an important public service during this challenging time. Abusive behaviour will not be tolerated.
The public are reminded that Council continues to operate its Refuse Collection service to all householders across the City and District and that the bespoke COVID-19 Waste Helpline will temporarily remain in operation for the rest of the week, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm at 028 71 376590, to deal with any waste issues.
Members of the public with bulky waste are advised that they must avail of the Council’s free Bulky Waste Collection Service as they will not be permitted access to the sites with bulky waste at this time. Bookings for this service can be made online via the Council website at www.derrystrabane.com/recycle or contact 028 71 374107.
Urging people to be responsible and to Stay at Home to prevent the spread of COVID19, the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Michaela Boyle said Recycling Centres should only be used as a last resort for householders who have additional waste they cannot store at home.
She said it was important residents used their existing bins to full capacity and did all they can to prevent putting additional pressure on an already stretched public service. She urged members of the public who choose to use the recycling centres to visit during off peak time such as early mornings and evenings.
She acknowledged the work of Council frontline staff for their continued hard work and dedication throughout this emergency period and thanked them for their public service.
She said she hoped common sense would prevail and people would continue to act responsibly by staying at home and helping to save lives.
“We can continue to fight COVID-19 by playing our part and staying at home as much as we can.”