The Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) at Hatston and Garson are set to reopen on Tuesday (June 2) - and will initially accept only garden waste.
Covid-19 safety measures and the need for social distancing mean that limited numbers of cars will be allowed on site at any one time.
With this in mind, Orkney Islands Council is recommending that residents consider whether they have an urgent need to dispose of green waste immediately – and if they could delay their first visit once the sites are open again.
“To avoid having to queue outside for long periods, why not wait for a few days before taking your garden waste to Hatston or Garson?” said Andrew Drever, vice-chair of the Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee.
“Based on present circumstances, the sites are reopening for the long term, in line with the Scottish Government’s easing of coronavirus restrictions, and we want to make sure they operate as safely and efficiently as possible.
“We want to avoid a rush on day one leading to queues and disappointment. Your help with this will be greatly appreciated.”
Changes to the way the sites operate will be in place to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection:
• They will accept only garden waste initially – with six skips available for this at Hatston and three at Garson.
• Bags or boxes of garden waste should be emptied into a skip – bins will be provided for emptied and unwanted containers.
• Access will be controlled in line with social distancing requirements, with no more than five cars at a time allowed on our Hatston site and three at a time at our Garson site.
• Visitors are asked to maintain a distance of two metres from all site staff and other users (if not a member of your household) at all times.
• Due to the need for physical distancing, no assistance can be offered by site staff. Users will need to be able to place their garden waste in the skips, assisted by another member of their household if required.
• When coming on site there should be no more than two people from the same household in each car.
• Only single-axle trailers up to 2.4 metres in length will be allowed, to ensure we can fit in the maximum numbers at any one time.
• Both sites will operate from Tuesday to Saturday.
• Hatston will be open from 09:00 to 15:45 and Garson from 10:00 to 15:45. Both will be closed between 12:00 and 13:00.
• ‘Traffic marshalls’ will be present to provide advice about queuing and entering the sites, along with temporary information signs as you approach each site.
• Drivers are asked to avoid queuing on main roads near the sites, as this will impede other road users, including the emergency services, local businesses, public transport and the wider public.
• The advice is: if there’s already a queue directly outside the sites, please come again another day.
As a way to spread visits across the week, the Council is suggesting that you make your visit – if possible – on your normal bin collection day. If your bin collection day is a Monday (when the sites will be closed) we would suggest that you visit on a Saturday instead.
For the time being, no other materials can be disposed of at Hatston or Garson. This will be kept under review and, when possible, the sites will start to take other materials as well.
Decisions on opening the other HWRCs – and recycling points in the isles – will be taken at a later date as part of the phased approach the council is taking.