Commenting on the continuing closure of Surrey’s community recycling centres (CRCs) due to the coronavirus outbreak, Mike Goodman, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste, said:
“We took the difficult decision in March to close our network of CRCs. We are keeping this under regular review, but continue to feel that we must follow the government’s very clear advice to stay at home and only make essential journeys.
“We believe that any guidance which suggests that CRCs could reopen is contradictory to that key government advice and could put residents as well as waste staff – who are key workers – at risk. Almost all of these facilities across the country are closed, and this approach is supported by organisations like the County Councils Network and the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee.
“It’s most important that we do everything we can to protect residential collections. I’m pleased that 92% of residential collections are operating and are coping well with increased levels of domestic waste. This continuity of collections has been helped by the redeployment of some CRC staff to supporting the services of a couple of district and borough councils.
“When the advice about essential travel changes, we’re expecting to reopen our CRCs with social distancing measures in place. We are working on plans which will protect visitors and staff while helping as many residents to access the sites as possible – this is likely to mean accepting fewer types of waste but with extended opening hours. Please look out for updates at surreycc.gov.uk/recycling
“In the meantime, we continue to ask residents to hold onto any excess waste and not have bonfires. The Surrey Environment Partnership has suggested six ways to help bin crews at surreyep.org.uk
“I’m grateful to residents for their patience and understanding, and I want to thank all the waste staff who are working so hard to keep our vital residential collections running throughout the lockdown.”