Plans have been put in place for two of Medway’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) to safely reopen for essential use.
Since HWRCs were closed in March as part of the government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19), Medway Council has been working on plans to safely reopen its waste centres in line with the latest government advice.
Medway Council has developed a new online booking system for residents who need to make an essential visit to a waste centre. The booking system will be the only way to access a waste centre, and residents should only book a visit if they need to dispose of waste that cannot be stored at home safely, cannot reasonably be disposed of in another way or to prevent injury, illness or other harm.
The online booking system, which is due go live by the afternoon on Wednesday, 13 May, enables the council to both manage demand and meet essential social distancing requirements, which are also being introduced at Medway’s waste centres to ensure the protection of customers and staff.
Two of Medway’s waste centres will reopen from Friday, 15 May – Capstone in Shawstead Road and Hoath Way in Gillingham. All waste items usually accepted at each HWRC can be disposed of during this time. The site at Cuxton will remain closed until further plans have been put in place so it can also be safely reopened at a later date.
Book an appointment
Only those who have booked an appointment will be given access, and will be able to choose from available days and time slots.
The same online booking system is being implemented across all Kent County Council waste disposal sites at the same time. To ensure all customers get fair access to a site to dispose of waste, households can only book one visit per calendar month.
Due to the level of demand, we expect this service to be very busy. You may be placed in a queue to help manage this:
- Medway residents can book an appointment to visit Capstone or Hoath Way.
- Kent residents can book an appointment to visit one of Kent’s 18 sites.
The quickest way to book an appointment is online. However, those without internet access will be able to phone.
In addition to reopening the household waste and recycling centres, Medway Council continues to run its bulky waste service.
Advice before visiting
Customers will be asked to show their booking reference on arrival – either on a device such as a phone or a print out – through their closed car window.
Customers must bring and wear gloves whilst on site – any material or type.
To reduce the risk of infection, members of staff will be unable to help customers with lifting their waste. Customers who need assistance with lifting an item will be able to bring another member of their household. However, where assistance is not required it is asked that only one person leaves the vehicle to dispose of the waste.
Social distancing measures have been put in place, including every other parking bay being blocked off. The number of visitors on site will also be limited.
Waste centres reopening for residents with no other means of disposing items
Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services and covering waste disposal, Cllr Phil Filmer, said: “We are pleased to be able to reopen two of our household waste and recycling centres for residents who have items which are presenting a risk, cannot be stored at home and they have no other ways of appropriately disposing of them. The online booking system has been put in place to enable the safe reopening of these sites and to help manage the anticipated high demand, as well as reduce any queues on arrival. Thank you for your patience and understanding while the changes to access our popular waste and recycling centres gets underway.
“You can only access a waste centre if you have booked an appointment, and customers are asked to read the advice on our website before making their trip to a waste centre – this includes taking gloves to wear on site and following social distancing guidelines.
“Throughout lockdown, our household waste contractor continued to collect waste and recycling from homes across Medway each week. With more people staying at home, our waste crews collected more waste and recycling than usual, yet they continued to provide Medway residents with one of the best weekly collection services in the country. Thanks again to our waste crews who continued to collect residents’ waste despite the challenging times, and also to those involved with getting our household waste and recycling centres reopened.
“We are now working hard to finalise plans to safely reopen Cuxton’s waste centre and will continue to provide an excellent weekly household waste and recycling collection service to help keep Medway clean and tidy.”