By Local Democracy Reporter
RECYCLING centres in Essex could open for up to three hours extra each day to cope with the increased demand during the coronavirus lockdown.
Fifteen of the 21 Essex County Council (ECC) recycling centres reopened on May 18, but given the significant demands expected on them it is being proposed to temporarily extend the opening hours of sites to allow them to better cope with additional demand while maintaining the necessary social distancing measures to ensure the safety of site staff, customers and the wider community.
The additional operating hours are subject to staff availability and operational need.
Braintree, Claton, Coxtie Green, Harlow, Pitsea and South Woodham Ferrers could open for an additional three hours.
Canvey, Chelmsford, Maldon, and Shrub End could open for an extra two hours, while Rayleigh and Saffron Walden could open for an extra one hour each day.
Chigwell, Mountnessing and Witham will continue to operate in line with their normal opening hours.
ECC has said that each site must be capable of managing at least four vehicles on site at any one time, while maintaining social distancing, providing adequate queuing capacity while meeting a local need which cannot be served adequately by another site.
A statement as part of an ECC planning application into the potential change of opening hours to be heard on Friday said: “The request for further flexibility in Essex Recycling Centres for Household Waste (RCHW) opening hours is required in the scenario that, despite the adoption of the measures detailed above, service demand outstrips operational capacity leading to off-site impacts and the potential for local environmental harm or safety implications.”
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