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Waste disposal and recycling

Last Updated 4:30pm, 23 March 2021


Information about coronavirus is available in different formats and languages, including easy read, BSL and for people who are not online.

Recycling centres

Recycling centres remain open, however, a number of restrictions are in place, including social distancing, which may lead to queues.

Sites may need to close temporarily if queues start causing a safety hazard on the public highway and residents will be advised to come back later.

Some sites may have large queues that take time to process – as such, sites may restrict further vehicles joining the queue towards the end of the day, to enable those already in the queue to be served before the site closes.

Residents showing COVID-19 symptoms or who are self-isolating should not visit recycling centres as per Public Health England guidance.

Before visiting a centre please note the following points:

  • Vehicle numbers permitted on site at any one time will be significantly reduced.
  • Cars, pick-ups, van-based people carriers and fully-fitted campervans will be permitted to use the recycling centres.
  • A maximum of two adults per vehicle.
  • Cars towing trailers (not exceeding 3m (10ft) internal/body length) will be permitted at all recycling centres – except at Maclins Quarry (South Molton) where the trailer cannot exceed 1.8m internal/body length. To avoid unnecessary delays to other site users, please ensure that you are able to safely and quickly manoeuvre your trailer in restricted spaces. Pick-ups and large vans towing trailers are not permitted.
  • Residents can use their personal vans / hire vans to bring in their household waste from their own home. Residents wishing to use Exton Road (Exeter), Pinbrook Road (Exeter) and Brunel Road (Newton Abbot) recycling centres with a van will need to book a slot to access the centre. See the vehicle restrictions policy for all information regarding vehicle restrictions and van booking systems.
  • Remain in your vehicle whilst queuing (with windows closed) and do not queue on the public highway.
  • Pedestrian access will only be permitted on sites with pavements connected to the public highway. Access will not be provided to residents who park their vehicles on the public highway and attempt to walk in with their waste.
  • Please sort your waste prior to visiting the recycling centre to ensure that your visit is as quick and efficient as possible, and to avoid delays for other site users.
  • Social distancing measures mean that site staff will not be able to help with unloading/carrying waste and you must follow site staff instructions to keep everyone safe – please stay 2 metres apart from other people (including site staff) at all times.
  • Payments on site will be accepted by credit or debit card only.
  • Resale/Shop facilities are closed from 5 January 2021 until further notice.
  • Residents showing COVID-19 symptoms or who are self-isolating should not visit recycling centres as per Public Health England guidance.

All centres are operating to their standard opening hours. See individual site details for more information.

Frequently asked questions

Why are you only allowing two adults per vehicle?

In order to avoid overcrowding of the sites and to follow social distancing measures.

Site staff will not be offering assistance, so if you have a bulky item that takes two adults to load, for example, a washing machine, please ensure two adults visit the centre to unload.

Why will site staff not be offering assistance?

In order to follow site social distancing measures to protect site staff from potential infection.

If you have a bulky item that takes two adults to load, for example, a washing machine, please ensure two adults visit the centre to unload.

Can I take garden waste to the recycling centre?

Yes – the recycling centres can accept garden waste.

What are the opening hours of the recycling centres?

The centres will continue to operate to the standard opening hours – see individual site details.

Any other restrictions?

In addition to these temporary restrictions, the usual restrictions/policies on what we can and cannot accept still applies:

Recycling Centre Policy Summary (A61C Form)

Waste disposal

Advice on disposal of waste if someone in your household has or is suspected of having coronavirus (COVID-19)

Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths must be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.

These bags must be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This must be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

Please visit the official UK government COVID-19 page for information about safe cleaning practices.

For all information on kerbside recycling/disposal services please visit your district council website.

Disposing of waste from lateral flow testing at home

To safely dispose of the test kit, place all of the items from the test and the plastic packaging into the bag provided and then put this bag with your general waste into your black kerbside bin for disposal. This applies whether the test result is positive or negative.

Illustration of the methods of disposal for lateral flow testing kits. Text description provided below image.

None of the plastic items or plastic packaging should be put into the recycling bin. They are not recyclable in your kerbside recycling bin.

If there are disposable gloves and disposable masks in the kit these are also not recyclable and should be put in the general waste bin.

The outer cardboard packaging and paper leaflets from the test kits can be recycled in your kerbside recycling bin.

Disposing of your green waste properly

If you’ve done some gardening during the lockdown, you can still dispose of your green waste properly. All district councils are still running their garden waste collection service.