Household Recycling Centres

All of our Household Recycling Centres (HRC) will remain open during lockdown.

We do ask that residents wear face masks where possible when visiting our sites but PPE (gloves, face masks) is a personal choice. We do strongly advise wahing your hands before and after you visit the HRC.

There are a number of safety measures in place that we expect all residents to adhere to:

  • controlled queuing with traffic restrictions in place
  • number of cars on site reduced to maintain social distancing
  • visitors to each site must bring proof of residency to access the facilities (which can be displayed through a closed car window if necessary)
  • Access for vans is still through the van permit schemes
  • only 1 person will be able to get out of the car and unload the waste, so residents must not bring bulky items that require 2 people to carry them (Blue Badge holders can bring someone to assist them)
  • staff on site will not be able to help unload your vehicle or dispose of your waste
  • payment for chargeable waste will be with card only (preferably contactless)
  • if queuing traffic becomes hazardous and dangerous, the HRC may have to close early to eliminate the problem or if we are instructed
  • personal waste (such as used tissues and used face masks) and disposable cleaning cloths should be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin or taken to a HRC.  

Opening hours

The opening hours will remain at the current winter opening hours:

  • Millhams: 9am to 4pm                    
  • Nuffield: 9am to 4pm                    
  • Wilverley Road: 10am to 4pm               

The re-use shop at Wilverley Road, Christchurch and the new to you shop at Nuffield, Poole will remain closed.

In the event of traffic queues being a hazard to other road users, the HRC may have to close early to eliminate the problem or if we are instructed. 

This may also apply if social distancing measures are not being properly observed, or the containers are completely full (and it is impossible to get lorries on site to remove). 

Commercial waste

Our commercial waste service will remain open:

  • Millhams: 8:30am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm Monday to Friday
  • Nuffield: 2pm to 4pm Monday to Friday


Trailers are allowed, but any trailers with trailer beds larger than 1.8 metres x 1.2 metres (6ft x 4ft) are not allowed to enter the site. 

Can I book to visit? 

No. we’re not operating a booking system, access to household recycling centres will operate the same as usual, but with anticipated extensive delays. 

Why aren’t you using a booking system? 

We wanted to keep as close to normal operating practice as possible to reduce issues on site and give all residents the opportunity to dispose of essential items. 

We have learned from other sites around the country where these systems have failed to reduce waiting times and caused additional stress to site users. 

When is the best time to visit? 

Due to the unprecedented circumstances, we don’t know. The best answer is to wait until the current restrictions are over. 

This time of year (March to May) is typically the busiest months of the year at HRCs. 

With people being confined to their homes many households have been undertaking DIY projects, clear-outs etc. Coupled with the closure of the HRCs for 6 weeks it is expected to result in even larger numbers of visitors than usual, especially in the first few weeks after reopening.(The weekend before the lockdown saw site visits in excess of 800 cars a day) 

The sites are reduced to 75% of their normal vehicle capacity to enable safety of site users and staff. 

Social distancing restrictions will also mean we won’t be able to accommodate the same amount of people in the same time frame as usual. 

Please don’t arrive before the opening time as this will create traffic queues; adversely impact the local residents and businesses and reduce our ability to remove waste from the sites as our lorries will be unable to access the site.  

Therefore, please only travel to a household recycling centre if it is absolutely essential (i.e., you cannot continue to store your waste at home safely). If you do choose to visit an HRC, please expect extensive delays.  

I am vulnerable person, can I visit a HRC?  

We strongly advise vulnerable people to continue to follow central government guidance on self-isolation. While we will have social distancing restrictions in place on site, you may wish to ask a non-vulnerable family member or friend to take your waste to an HRC if it is essential. 

Long queues – what are you doing to reduce these? It will cause fly-tipping and congestion in the local area? 

Our advice is for residents to travel to a HRC only if their visit is essential and they cannot continue to store their waste at home safely. Delays are expected to be severe.  

The sites cannot operate as usual as social distancing measures will be in place, which will add to delays. 

We will have staff and security personnel in place at the site entrance to speak with visitors and advise on waiting times and procedures on site. If a queue is too large, some vehicles may be turned away and asked to return later. 

Any waste left outside an HRC, in the queue, at the roadside etc. will be treated as fly-tipping and subjected to the same investigation and potential fines and prosecution as any other fly-tip. 

Can I walk my waste into the site if there’s a big queue or I live close-by? 

This is not possible, and pedestrians will be turned away. Our sites do not have dedicated pedestrian access, so are not safe to enter by foot. If the site is not busy, we may be able to accommodate a cyclist, but they will need to be accompanied by site staff.

A security guard will be at each site entrance to strictly manage vehicles on a one-in, one-out basis to ensure social distancing is managed.  

Queue jumping by parking nearby and walking with waste will not be tolerated, as is potentially dangerous. 

How are you making sites safe to attend? 

  • Social distancing measures will be in place to help visitors stay 2m away from other people
  • All HRCs are being managed to make sure visitors move around the site as little as possible and leave as quickly as they can
  • Site employees will be disinfecting handrails and container lids regularly. However, please wash your hands before and after you leave the site.
  • Employees will be able to direct you but cannot offer assistance.
  • Parking bays have been created that enable residents to tip their waste whilst ensuring the 2-metre separation is maintained. These parking spaces will be managed by site staff and onsite security personnel.
  • Only one person per vehicle to use the containers (unless need help from one passenger)
  • Card / Contactless payment only for chargeable materials so employees and visitors can avoid contact with cash.
  • We ask that you don’t bring children with you if possible. If you have no alternative, please ensure they always stay in the car.
  • Please respect direction from staff. They will be working very hard to keep the site safe and ensure as many as possible are able to recycle their waste.

Will there be people on site to help me? 

Not manually, there will be employees controlling access to the site and others who will be able to provide guidance and advice. However, they will not be able to handle your recycling waste or help empty your vehicle. 

Please load bags and containers so that you can carry them on your own. If you have an item that you cannot manage alone, you may in certain circumstances allow another person to assist you from your vehicle. 

Due to Covid restrictions our staff may not be able to offer first aid on site.

Will everything on site be the same?  

You will be directed to a relevant space - Containers may have moved. Please take time to look around when you arrive on site and be patient with others. If in doubt, please ask a site employee for advice.

Can I take items and materials that are usually charged for i.e. Soil, Rubble? 

Yes. However, you will only be able to pay using a card / contactless method. Cash will not be accepted.   

Please only visit if absolutely essential.


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