I welcome plans reopen waste sites – but opening hours should be extended to meet the backlog in demand.
I asked Kent County Council to reopen the sites with controls on social distancing following a surge in fly-tipping, bonfires and general litter. I and 12 other Kent MPs later made a formal request to council leader Roger Gough.
Last week the council said it would reopen its Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) from Friday May 15, but only from 9am to 3pm to allow for “enhanced cleaning”. Meanwhile residents can only book one trip in any four-week period
I have cautioned that restricted hours could create more problems than solutions. We have seen in London that restricting essential services, like the Tube, results in greater demand for the more limited services, overcrowding and increases risk.
So while I welcome Kent County Council finally opening the tips following my campaign, I do worry that reducing opening hours and only letting people go to the tip once a month may cause unnecessary problems.
That’s why I am pressing KCC to extend waste centre opening hours, so people can make all the visits they need to clear the rubbish backlog as soon as possible.