A tip from Lancashire's tips - please don't turn up before we even open
The new regime at Lancashire’s tips got off to a smooth start today, with a dozen of the facilities opening their gates for the first time in over seven weeks.
The queues which have greeted similar recent reopenings in other parts of the country were largely avoided, after Lancashire County Council set up an appointment system which requires anybody wanting to dump rubbish to book a slot before turning up. Each vehicle is given a half-hour window in which to arrive.
However, waste bosses at the authority are appealing for people with the earliest appointments not to queue up unnecessarily before the sites are actually open each day.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that minor tailbacks formed at the facility in Lytham as a result of some residents, eager to return to the household waste recycling centres, arriving up to an hour before staff were ready to welcome them in.
All of the reopened sites have reverted to their previous normal opening hours – and none open before 9am.
The centres at Longridge, Garstang, Carnforth and Haslingden remain closed for now.
Steve Scott, County Hall’s head of waste management, said he was pleased with way things had gone on day one of the new system.
“On the whole, people have been keeping to their appointment times and we’re very grateful for the understanding they’ve shown of the need to operate in a very different way due to the need to maintain social distancing.
“The only real issue we have had is with people starting to queue before sites opened at 9am. I’d remind people that there’s no need to arrive early as the appointment system allows us to control the number of visitors arriving within each 30-minute slot, and minimise waiting times.
“I’d like to thank people for their patience and cooperation, as we really do appreciate it. We’ll be continuing to monitor the sites very closely over the weekend,” Mr. Scott added.
Other new rules for residents attending the tips include a requirement to park close to the skip they need and deposit and their own waste – because staff will no longer be able to help, as a result of strict social distancing rules which must be maintained during every visit.
Only cars will be allowed to visit – with a complete ban on vans and trailers and no construction waste allowed, even for those who have previously held a permit for that purpose.
Nobody with coronavirus symptoms or who is self-isolating because of a confirmed or suspected case in their household should visit.
Appointments can be made via the Lancashire County Council website or customer service centre phone number – 0300 123 6781.