Since the third national lockdown came in to force, local coronavirus rules and services have changed once again.
Household waste and recycling centres were forced to close during the first national lockdown which was announced in March 2020.
Now, in the third lockdown, rubbish tips have remained open following government guidance.
Here are the current rules for household waste centres in the county:
Are waste and recycling centres open?
Rubbish tips at Freemen’s Common and Gypsum Close in Leicester are running on a reduced service, but are still open daily from 8am until 6pm.
However, the Reuse Shop at the Gypsum Close site is currently closed and will reopen when non-essential shops can reopen.
In the rest of Leicestershire, 13 of the 14 recycling and household waste sites in the county are open.
According to the county council website, the Bottesford site in Melton closed from January 11 for around 12 weeks due to maintenance work.
During this period, residents who would usually use that site, are advised to use the Melton Mowbray site instead which will open six days per week instead of five.
All the other remaining sites across each county are open from 9am to 5pm but the days that they are open vary across each centre:
- Linden Way, Coalville is open from Saturday to Wednesday, but closes on Thursdaysand Fridays
- Moorbarns Lane, Lutterworth is open from Thursday to Monday, but closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- Hathern Road, Shepshed is open from Thursday until Sunday, but closed Monday to Wednesday
- Knossington Road, Somerby is open on Sundays and Mondays only
- Stapleton Lane, Barwell is open from Wednesday to Sunday, but closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
- Railway Terrace Loughborough is open Saturday and Sunday only
- Wigston Road, Oadby is open from Saturday to Wednesday, but closed Thursdays and Fridays
- Granite Way Mountsorrel is open seven days a week
- Nottingham Road, Lount is open from Thursday to Monday, but closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- Riverside Market Harborough is open from Saturday to Wednesday, but closed on Thursdays and Fridays
- Kibworth is open Monday to Friday, but closed on weekends
- Enderby Road, Whetstone is open seven days a week
- Normanton Lane Bottesford, closed for 12 weeks of maintenance from January 11, but usually opens Thursday to Saturday and remains closed Monday to Wednesday. People are asked to visit the Lake Terrace site in Melton Mowbray instead
- Lake Terrace, Melton Mowbray is open from Thursday to Tuesday, but closes on Wednesdays
Can I go under the latest coronavirus rules – and do I need to book?
You should only visit a tip if it is essential and if the rubbish or household items cannot be stored safely at home according to both Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council.
Anyone who does need to make an essential trip to a county tip has to book a slot first using the Leicestershire County Council website.
People visiting the two tips in Leicester do NOT need to book in advance, but both sites in the city are currently running on a ‘one-in-one-out’ system so delays are expected.
Roads around the Freemen’s Common site should be kept clear so that long queues do not form. This means that if the site is busy, visitors should expect to have to turn back.
Vans, pickups and trailers that are longer than 1.4 metres are only permitted at Gypsum Close and must obtain a permit beforehand.
Pedestrians are not allowed to walk onto any of the sites in the city or county and a vehicle must be used to visit.
When is the best time to go?
Tip sites are generally busier on Saturdays and Sundays if they are open at weekends.
Visitors to Freeman’s Common or Gypsum Close should be aware that entrance gates to sites are sometimes closed earlier to allow the site to thoroughly cleaned and sanitised.
The county council’s booking system should mean there are no particularly busy times, though Leicestershire County Council says there are generally fewer spaces booked on weekdays between 1.30pm and 4pm.
A new week’s worth of booking slots is made available every Friday morning, at which time people can book up to 3 weeks ahead, so if you want to visit on a weekend it might be wise to book quickly when the slots become available.
Can I bring someone with me?
You can bring another member of your household if you are unable to safely carry items on your own at any of the tips in the city or county.
To maintain social distancing, you must stay in your vehicle while queuing and until it is necessary to get out.
If you need help to unload an item, one other person from your vehicle can assist you.
With social distancing measures in place across all sites, only two adults at a time are allowed to get out of one vehicle and only if they are both needed to unload an item.
Are there any items that are not currently accepted?
In Leicester, asbestos and chemicals can only be disposed of at Freemen’s Common. Anyone disposing of asbestos should call 0116 254 3568 ahead of visiting.
Leicester City Council asks that waste is sorted at home, before visiting the sites so you can offload easily and quickly.
At the Leicestershire sites, waste permits are still required for household chemicals such as oven cleaner and garden chemicals.
If you are disposing of waste that is or could be contaminated with ‘Covid-19 material’ Leicestershire County Council urges that it is double-bagged and kept for at least 72 hours before depositing on-site.
Do I have to wear a mask?
There are currently no national requirements to wear masks at recycling sites anywhere in the country.
Other on-site rules
When using the site, people should stay two-metres apart at all times.
On-site staff can no longer assist with carrying items to be disposed of due to social distancing rules.
You should visit any of the sites if you or anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.