Long queues as rubbish tips across Essex open for first time since lockdown

Cars queued with household waste that could not be stored safely at home, waiting for their turn to

Cars queued with household waste that could not be stored safely at home, waiting for their turn to access the site in Maldon Road, Colchester Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Cars queued for up to two hours at rubbish tips in Essex, which opened their gates for the first time since March under strict social distancing rules.

While drivers were respecting the signs in place, there was a large volume of traffic waiting to acc

While drivers were respecting the signs in place, there was a large volume of traffic waiting to access the recycling centre in Colchester for the first time since March Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Essex County Council opened 15 centres at 9am on Monday, May 18, with queues of cars full of household waste already waiting at Colchester’s recycling centre in Maldon Road.

Three queues formed as drivers waited to use the roundabout to access the site, but order was maintained with clear signage approaching the site from all directions and staff keeping the public informed though open car windows.

Drivers were allowed into the site one car at a time and only one person was allowed out of each vehicle, in order to keep the chances of any coronavirus transmission to a minimum.

Members of the public had also been asked only to make an essential journey if their waste could not be stored safely at home any longer and if it could be disposed of by one person.

Some traffic was at a standstill on the roundabout, leaving room for drivers not using the recycling

Some traffic was at a standstill on the roundabout, leaving room for drivers not using the recycling centre to pass through unimpeded Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant


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The council is only opening the 15 sites where social distancing can be enforced. They include recycling centres in:

• Braintree

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• Chelmsford

• Clacton

Road signs were in place for drivers approaching the rubbish tip and and staff, all at least two met

Road signs were in place for drivers approaching the rubbish tip and and staff, all at least two meters apart, were directing the public to the entrance Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

• Colchester (Shrub End)

• Maldon

• Witham

Centres at Brentwood, Canvey, Chigwell, Harlow, Mountnessing, Pitsea, Rayleigh, Saffron Walden and South Woodham Ferrers will also open.

Cars queued from three directions approaching the roundabout which leads to Colchester's recylcing c

Cars queued from three directions approaching the roundabout which leads to Colchester's recylcing centre in Maldon Road Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

While queues in north Essex remained manageable, the county council’s waste management team, Love Essex, warned that some sites are experiencing queues taking up to two hours to travel through.

Love Essex did not specify which sites had the longest waiting times.

The Colchester Recycling Centre when it first opened about 9am on May 18 Picture: STUART JOHNSON

The Colchester Recycling Centre when it first opened about 9am on May 18 Picture: STUART JOHNSON - Credit: Archant

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