Bexley Council will reopen reuse and recycling centres within the coming week, the authority has announced, with extra measures in place to ensure social distancing is maintained.

The council plans to re-open its Foots Cray recycling site on Wednesday, May 13, with facilities at Thames Road to follow on Monday, May 18, after drop-offs at both centres were suspended due to the cornavirus pandemic.

With the authority predicting long queues at both locations, it has announced a package of measures including a restriction on which vehicles can attend on certain days.

The council stated only cars with ‘odd’ number plate figures can attend on odd dates, while those with even number plates can use the sites on even dates.

The roster would start with ‘odd’ numbered vehicles on Wednesday 13 May (for those with odd number plates, such as LA-11-BEX), carrying on to Thursday 14 May for those with ‘even’ plates, and so on.

The council said an initial trial period would also see vehicle numbers on the sites limited to six at Foots Cray and three at Thames Road.

Only one person will be allowed outside the vehicle unless a large item is being unloaded, and staff won’t be able to help users lift items.

The authority stated limited materials will be accepted, such as garden waste, black bag waste, bulky waste such as furniture, mattresses, carpet and white goods, and other large electrical equipment. 

While the sites are open again, the authority has still urged residents to consider delaying their trips.

Among their points are that residents should:

  • only travel to the sites if waste or recycling cannot be stored at home safely
  • use council door-to-door collections rather than travelling to the sites
  • do not visit the sites if you or a member of your household is unwell

Foots Cray opening hours will run from 7.30am to 4pm daily including weekends, while Thames Road will run from 3pm to 8pm on weekdays, and 7.30am to 4pm on weekends.