Thousands head to Suffolk tips as they reopen for waste

PUBLISHED: 12:52 14 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:39 14 May 2020

Paul Smith from FCC at Foxhall  Recycling Centre Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Paul Smith from FCC at Foxhall Recycling Centre Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


Suffolk’s waste tips have opened for the first time since the lockdown began in late March – with householders keen to get rid of rubbish they have collected over the last few weeks.

Foxhall tip reopened to the pre-booked users on Thursday. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFoxhall tip reopened to the pre-booked users on Thursday. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Household Recycling Centres have opened with strict social distancing rules being enforced – and users have to book a slot before they can bring their rubbish to be recycled.

There was a steady stream of users at the Foxhall recycling centre on the edge of Ipswich on Thursday morning after it opened its doors at 9am.

Suffolk County Council has opened all 11 sites and there are 13,000 slots a week that can be booked online for people who want to use the service. Booking opened on Tuesday afternoon and, by Wednesday evening, 7,000 slots had been reserved for people wanting to leave waste.

Roads to three of the busiest tips in the county – Foxhall, Portman Walk in Ipswich and Fornham St Martin near Bury St Edmunds – have been closed because of the danger to vehicles queing to get into the centres. But the centres’ reopening has been so successful, these roads could be open again within days.

However a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said these closures – which are due to last for a week – were being kept under review and if the system was working well and there were no major problems with queues, they could be lifted early.

The social distancing rules mean the centres can only take about half the number of users they would normally see – and you cannot book a slot on the day. It has to be at least 24 hours in advance.

All 456 slots at the Foxhall centre on Thursday were booked in advance and across the county 2,755 slots were booked at the 11 sites, only fractionally short of the total capacity of 2,812.

County council cabinet member for waste, Paul West, said the reopening had gone as well as they hoped for. “We haven’t had long queues,” he said. “I haven’t heard of people turning up without booking and having to be turned away and it all seems to have gone as planned. We’ve had good feedback from users.

“We will be reviewing what has happened at the end of the day and for the next few days – but I hope we’ll be able to reopen the three roads that were closed soon. We’ve got closure orders for a week, but to be honest I’d be surprised if they stayed shut for a week.”

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