Harrogate's reopened rubbish dump is the busiest in the county, figures reveal

New figures show Harrogate's reopened recycling centre has been the busiest in the county with hundreds of householders rushing to dump their lockdown rubbish.

By Jacob Webster
Monday, 18th May 2020, 12:32 pm
Updated Monday, 18th May 2020, 12:34 pm

An average of 30 cars have been counted queuing up at the Penny Pot Lane site after it reopened with strict safety measures on May 6.

And on some days, more than 60 vehicles have passed through its gates every hour.

The lengthy queues have been at least three times the size of those at other sites in North Yorkshire, including Leeming, Selby and Scarborough.

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Harrogate's Penny Pot Lane recycling centre has been the busiestin North Yorkshire. Photo: Roger Litton

And although Harrogate is one of the largest towns in the region, the tip tailbacks have left council bosses scratching their heads as to why the town has so much rubbish to dump.

"It is quite curious why Harrogate has been busier than others," said Coun Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire County Council.

"We knew people were asking for the sites to be reopened, but we didn't know how popular it would be until we did it. It has been a surprise."

The council has reopened more than half of its recycling centres, but sites on Wetherby Road, Harrogate, and Dallamires Crescent, Ripon, remain shut.

Coun Les said reopening the Harrogate tip would cause traffic and social distancing problems.

He said: "The size of the property and whether social distancing can be maintained is something we have thought about with each of our sites.

"The big worry though is traffic and safety on the highways. If we are already seeing queues of 60/70 cars in Harrogate, I don't think it would be wise to do the same on Wetherby Road."

Coun Les added it is the council's intention to reopen all of its 20 sites as soon as it is safe to do so.

And he repeated the advice that a visit to the tip should only be considered essential if the rubbish cannot be stored at home without causing risk of injury or harm to health.

What are the new measures that have been put in place - and when is it safe to visit?

People are advised to wear gloves on site and are reminded to wash their hands before and after visiting.

And those who should not visit at all are the extremely vulnerable, people with coronavirus symptoms and those in a 14-day household isolation.

Visitors can expect to arrive to an orderly queuing system.

Only one person is allowed out of their vehicle once on-site, with other passengers being told they must stay inside.

And it goes without saying, social distancing must be observed, with people being told to stay at least two metres apart at all times.

It is also worth noting that there will be a cut-off point for the queues, so if they become too long people will need to leave and come back later.

To support social distancing, site staff will be unable to help with the disposal of your waste. This means you should ensure that you are able to unload your vehicle by yourself.

People will be able to separate waste into different skips. The usual rules will apply for chargeable waste, with payment by card only being accepted.

Commercial waste will not be accepted and - as normal- commercial vehicles that are registered with the council will be permitted on site.

Trailers will also not be allowed until further notice.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter

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