Derry City and Strabane District Council today issued an urgent appeal to people to reconsider visiting local recycling centres, and to make essential journeys only to alleviate congestion in the coming days.
There has been a surge in numbers at some recycling sites in recent days resulting in long queues and delays in people accessing the facilities, where staff are working hard to implement the strict health and safety measures now in force.
Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Brian Tierney, appealed to people to reconsider making journeys to recycling centres at this time.
"We have seen a significant rise in the numbers accessing Council sites, which is leading to increasing frustration due to the delays," he stressed.
"I want to remind people that there are very stringent guidelines in force from the Health and Safety Executive and DAERA about the operation of facilities that include regularly disinfecting and making safe areas being accessed by the public as well as strict controls on numbers allowed on site that will result in delays. Staff are doing their best to meet these guidelines under increasing pressure and visitors must be prepared to wait while this is done properly.
"I would remind everyone that they should only be making essential journeys at this time. I appreciate that we're all left with excess rubbish from Christmas and people are clearing out their homes, but I am asking people to work with us and try to stagger their visits at quieter times of the day, such as after 4pm.
"These are very challenging times for everyone and we all have a collective responsibility to follow the rules and safeguard others.
"Please be patient, understanding and respectful, and remember that abuse of staff and all working at the sites is not acceptable under any circumstances, and Council will look to take appropriate action against those who are verbally abusive to staff and contractors.
"Please help staff to deliver this service at this difficult time by alleviating some of the pressure at our centres."
Recycling Centres remain open all day with the exception of New Year's Day and Pennyburn Recycling Centre is open until 8pm Monday – Friday. To help reduce visiting times anyone using recycling centres over the holiday period is encouraged to sort and separate materials before arrival and to dispose of waste in household bins wherever possible.
Please note that all opening arrangements at Council facilities are subject to change if required in line with any new government guidelines being issued in the coming days. For more information on opening times go to https://www.derrystrabane.com/recyclingcentres