Shropshire Council

Update to restrictions for access to HRCs

12 May 2020 Last updated at 10:27

We're working hard to ensure that Shropshire is kept as clean and safe as possible. In partnership with Veolia, our recycling and waste contractor, we reopened all five of our household recycling centres on Tuesday 5 May.

To ensure the safety of the public and Veolia’s staff, we're opening for essential use only. This is for residents who have a problem with storing too much waste. Non-essential use puts yourself, other members of the public and our staff at risk from spreading the infection.

Veolia is operating with the following rules. Specific site rules follow underneath. Please ensure that you read and follow this guidance when deciding to visit.

Rules in place will include:

  • Anyone who is self-isolating or has COVID-19 symptoms MUST NOT visit an HRC site
  • A strict limit to the number of vehicles allowed on site at any one time
  • Only one person per vehicle
  • Only cars, and cars with trailers and a valid permit, will be admitted. No vans of any sort will be allowed. This will be continuously under review
  • Only one visit will be allowed per day
  • No trade or commercial waste will be accepted
  • Asbestos, oils and paints will not be accepted. They will need to be stored safely at home until we're able to safely process them. We'll publicise when we're able to accept these materials
  • The public must respect the strict two-metre rule both from staff and other site users
  • Veolia staff will be unable to assist with unloading vehicles
  • Walking-in of waste will not be permitted
  • Use of the sites is restricted to residents of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin only

There will be staff on the gates to the HRCs. Please listen and follow their instructions. They're there to help you, and make sure you stay safe and can complete your trip in as quick a time as possible, but please remember the extra guidelines in place will cause significant delays, and we ask you to be patient. Staff are working hard in difficult circumstances to keep their site operating. Please treat the HRC staff with respect at all times.

Please be assured that Veolia take their responsibility for your health and safety and that of their staff very seriously. Their operatives are following government and industry guidance on personal hygiene

We remind you to please think carefully before you decide to visit the site.  Non-essential use puts yourself, other members of the public and our staff at risk from spreading the infection.


These frequently asked questions (FAQs) have been created to ensure that the household recycling centres (HRCs) are only being used to enable visits which are essential to prevent injury, illness or harm to residents.

Why are you opening the site? Is it safe?

Following government guidance where HRC provision is ranked as a medium priority, we've managed to put in practical arrangements and can now open our HRC sites in Battlefield, Bridgnorth, Craven Arms, Oswestry and Whitchurch to help maintain the integrity of the whole waste collection and treatment network. It is for essential use only.

We're following government and industry guidance and have worked with Veolia to agree the best approach based on local conditions and within agreed safety guidelines. Safety is Veolia’s first priority and all site users are expected to follow the rules published above.

What will happen when I visit a site?

Each site has their own set of guidance. Posters will be displayed explaining what that is. Staff will be on the gates to advise you when to enter the site. Please pay attention to container labels and only put your waste in the correct container. Please do not use containers that have a barrier or signage saying ‘not in use’.

What do you class as essential use?

Those visits which are essential to prevent injury, illness or harm to residents who have a problem with storing too much waste at home.

Why can’t you open for everyone to use?

We appreciate that it is unsightly to keep waste that's not collected at the kerbside at home, but the Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented and we must all work together to concentrate on beating the virus. To ensure that the risk of spreading the infection is limited as much as possible, our sites are reopening on a phased basis, and are only open for essential visits, which are defined above. 

I need someone to help unload my vehicle.  What do I do?

Social distancing at 2m will be strictly enforced and operatives CANNOT assist the public at this time, so please don't bring any waste to site for the time being that you can't unload yourself.

Which sites are open, and what can I take there?

Battlefield, Bridgnorth, Craven Arms, Oswestry and Whitchurch are open for essential use only. For a list of items that can be recycled please take a look at our HRC pages. Please note that accepted materials could change on a daily basis during the pandemic.

Will the sites be open under their normal opening hours?

Yes, sites will be open 9am to 5pm seven days a week. They remain closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

How long will it take to complete my visit?

The site is operating under a one-in-one-out system. Therefore it is expected that there will be significant delays. Please be patient - we appreciate it might be frustrating, but be assured that staff are working hard in difficult conditions to get you through as quickly and as safely as they can. 

My waste is normally recycled but I have had to use a mixed/general waste bin. Will it go to landfill?

The sites are open for essential use only. They're operating under difficult circumstances, and our priority is to allow essential users the opportunity to dispose of their waste safely. We've combined some containers to ensure social distancing rules are met, and this will mean that some waste that is normally disposed of will go to landfill/energy from waste. This is why we must ask you to ensure you only visit the site if absolutely necessary, otherwise please hold onto your waste until we reopen as normal, when usual recycling opportunities can be made use of.

Why don’t you offer an appointment-based system?

This would mean additional contacts from our already stretched contact centre or making it online only – not all households have access to online facilities. This would be difficult to manage practically on site due to social distancing.

Why can’t I visit the HRCs in a van?

For a limited period we're restricting site users to cars and cars with trailers which have a valid permit only. This is to assist with managing traffic levels.

Why are you limiting the number of vehicles onto the HRC?

This is to follow the government guidelines of social distancing, and to ensure that users and employees keep a safe distance of two metres where possible.

Will I have to queue to get on to the site?

We're expecting delays to enter the site as we're having to limit the number of users disposing of their recycling and waste at any time. This is to ensure that we're following the government guidelines on social distancing, and to ensure that users and employees keep a safe distance of two metres where possible. We're asking residents to think carefully about whether it's essential to visit the site, and to store waste at home where possible. This will help to reduce traffic to the HRCs. We're updating these webpages and social media channels constantly so please check before you go. Please be patient as we're working as hard as we can.

Will I need a permit?

Yes, if you are visiting the site with a car and trailer you will need a valid permit. Currently no other vehicles that normally require a permit are allowed onto the HRC sites. 

What material aren’t you accepting?

  • Chemicals
  • Asbestos
  • Paint
  • Oil

What about bulk collections?

Bulky collections will not be taking place in the immediate future due to prioritising the kerbside collection services. Staff who would ordinarily be providing this service are working on emptying household containers.

My visit isn’t essential.  When will the sites open without the Covid-19 restrictions?

We're keeping up to date with government guidance, and as soon as it's safe to do so we'll confirm back-to-normal arrangements.  Please check this website, local press or social media for updates. 

Thank you for your understanding and patience.