OPENING hours at tips will be extended from tomorrow (Saturday) to combat problems including staff abuse caused by long queues.
The household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) at Pennington and Marchwood will open until 6pm, extended from 4pm, Hampshire County Council has announced.
The move follows calls for an extension from councillors, including Totton member Cllr David Harrison, and carries a warning that motorists need to behave responsibly.
County council deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, transport and environment, Cllr Rob Humby, said: “From Saturday, the HWRCs will be open until 6pm every day, which will allow more vehicles to pass through.
“But, if there are queues when people arrive, I would urge them to follow our traffic management directions and queue responsibly. Please obey the signage that is in place, especially the ‘Do not queue beyond this point’ signs as well as keeping entrances and junctions clear.
“The signage and other traffic measures are there for road safety reasons. Please consider the impact on others – local residents, businesses neighbouring HWRCs on industrial estates who are trying to get back up and running, and, most importantly, the safety of others using the roads.”
Cllr Humby continued: “While we understand that residents may be frustrated by the queues, it is disappointing and alarming to hear of reports of verbal and physical abuse occurring against site staff – including staff being spat at.
“Where incidents of this nature occur or queuing traffic is potentially becoming dangerous, we will have no option but to consider closing these HWRCs in order to keep site staff, other road users and residents safe.”
He reiterated: “With new measures in place at HWRCs for safe social distancing, the number of vehicles we can have on site at any one time is much less than before the coronavirus outbreak.
“Therefore, I would ask people to consider if they really do need to take their waste to an HWRC at this time. We have seen significant traffic queues in the last two weeks since the HWRCs reopened, which have impacted on local people trying to get to work as well as having a detrimental impact on the ability for businesses nearby to get back up and running.
But Cllr Humby added: “With the majority of waste coming to the sites being green garden waste, we are encouraged that our colleagues in those districts that suspended green waste collections are considering restarting them, and we ask residents to consider using the kerbside green waste collections offered by their district or borough council as well as home composting as an alternative.”
For more information visit www.hants.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling/coronavirus?second=waste-recycling&third=hwrcs