Rubbish and Recycling Guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Portree Recycling Centre Re-opening FAQ

Government legislation has now been updated so that a trip to the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) is now regarded as an acceptable journey for essential waste disposal.

What is considered essential waste disposal?

Portree HWRC is open for essential waste disposal only - journeys to Portree HWRC must only be undertaken if your waste cannot be stored at home safely. By this we mean the waste cannot be stored without causing risk of injury, or harm to health. If you can temporarily store your waste in a way that does not pose a risk to your or others safety or human health, then you must continue to do so.

When will Portree HWRC reopen?

Portree HWRC will reopen on Monday 15 June. Please check the guidance on our website for the restrictions that will be in place.

Do I have to book to visit Portree HWRC?

Yes. Bookings must be made online by using our online form.

Your name, address and car registration number are required to complete the booking.

This is an advance-booking system, so you will be unable to book a same day visit to the site. All slots must be booked 48 hours in advance. Please arrive at site within your pre-booked time.

Householders must not travel to Portree HWRC without pre-booking. Vehicles arriving at site without a booking will be turned away.

Why is there a booking system?

The booking system is in place to keep site visitors and staff safe by maintaining adequate social distancing on site. We expect that this is going to be a very busy period for the HWRC.

The introduction of the booking system is a key part in helping to manage the number of visitors using the site safely and efficiently. In addition, it avoids people having to wait in long queues of traffic, or travelling long distances without being sure that the site will be accessible.

I've booked a slot. Will I get email confirmation?

Yes. A confirmation email and text will be sent to you once your booking is completed. Please take this with you to show to the site attendant at your re-booked time. 

I haven't booked a slot. Can I still turn up at the Portree HWRC?

No. You must pre-book a slot before visiting the site. No entry to the site is permitted without a booking. This is an advance-booking system, so you will be unable to book a same day visit to the site. All slots must be booked 48 hours in advance.

I can't book a slot online as I have no access to a smart device or computer. What can I do?

If you can't book online, please ask a family member or friend to try for you.

What vehicles are permitted at Portree HWRC?

Cars and small non-commercial 4 x 4 vehicles only are permitted in this initial phase. Trailers and vans are not permitted. We will continually review the situation and provide regular updates. Please regularly check our website for updates.

Why are cars the only vehicles allowed at Portree HWRC?

This is a phased re-opening with restrictions in place in each phase to help manage the site safely and efficiently. Cars only are permitted in this initial phase to cut down on the time spent on site by visitors. We will continually review the situation and provide regular updates. Please regularly check our website for updates.

Are Portree HWRC opening times the same as before?

No. The site has revised opening hours and days which are: Monday to Friday 9am to 3.30pm and the site is closed for lunch 12 noon to 1pm each day.

The site may need to close at short notice. For example, if it is no longer safe to keep it open, if containers are completely full, or if social distancing measures are not being properly observed.

What types of waste can I take to Portree HWRC?

Currently the only waste accepted is:

  • Bagged household waste only - to cut down on time spent at the site, please do not bring other larger items of household waste as they will not be permitted. 
  • Garden waste in bags only - to cut down on time spent at the site, please bring garden waste in bags and empty the contents into the containers.
  • Cardboard - to cut down time spent at the site, please flatten all carboard before bringing it to the site.
  • Small electrical appliances
  • Large electrical appliances - please ensure you are able to lift these yourself. Staff are unable to assist with unloading.

Only one person will be permitted to leave their vehicle to dispose of their waste. Site staff are unable to assist with handling waste. Please only bring waste you can carry and empty into the containers.

Over the coming weeks, once we are satisfied that the amount of waste and visitor numbers using the sites are at safe and manageable levels, we will move to the next phase, which will see more types of waste being introduced to the list of items that are accepted. Please regularly check our website for updates.

Please do not bring other items as you will be asked to take them home.

This is a phased re-opening and we will gradually introduce more materials over the coming weeks. Please regularly check our website for updates.

Important information about personal waste

If anyone in your household has coronavirus symptoms, please dispose of your personal waste following Government guidance, this includes:

  • nappies and sanitary products
  • tissues and used paper towels
  • wet wipes

Please put personal waste and disposable cleaning cloths into disposable rubbish bags and close securely. These bags should then be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. These bags then need to be stored for at least 72 hours before being taken to a HWRC.

Why can't you open for longer if it's going to be busy?

We cannot keep Portree HWRC open for longer as we have limited numbers of staff available to operate the site. Also, staff need time outside of these hours to make sure containers are emptied and ready for use, and that the site is tidy and safe to access.

We must also consider the opening times of the places where materials from site are taken once containers have filled. If we keep the site open beyond regular hours, we will have nowhere for the collected waste to go, creating delays and disrupting access.

What should I expect when I visit?

Staff will be in place at the entrance to each site to speak with visitors and will require you to present your booking confirmation. Site staff will also advise on procedures on site.

In order to observe social distancing measures, we will need to restrict the number of visitors/vehicles that are permitted into a site at any one time. Only one person will be permitted to leave their vehicle to dispose of their waste. Site staff are unable to assist with handling waste. Please only bring waste you can carry and empty into the containers. Please respect direction from staff, they will be working very hard in difficult circumstances to keep the site safe and ensure as many visitors as possible can dispose of their waste. Please treat our recycling centre staff with respect, aggression towards staff will not be tolerated.

Please don't bring children with you if possible. If you have no alternative, please ensure they always stay in the car.

Can site staff help me unload my waste?

No. Social distancing measures will be in place and staff will remain 2 metres from visitors. Staff will be able to direct you but cannot handle your waste in any way.

How are you making sites safe to attend?

All HWRCs are being managed to make sure visitors move around the site as little as possible and leave as quickly and safely as possible.

Social distancing measures will be in place to help visitors and staff stay 2 metres apart from other people.

The layout of the sites parking spaces will be altered to facilitate social distancing.

Additional regular cleaning of surfaces will also be undertaken for hygiene and health reasons. Site staff will be equipped with the necessary PPE and will follow robust hygiene practices.

I am vulnerable/shielded person, can I visit Portree HWRC?

Please do not come to the HWRC if you are:

  • extremely vulnerable and are remaining at home for shielding purposes
  • symptomatic with coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • in a 14-day household isolation

We would urge vulnerable people to continue to follow 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 essential waste to the HWRC.

Do I need to wear PPE to attend?

PPE (gloves, face masks etc) is a personal choice - there are no regulations requiring visitors to use it on site. However, we strongly advise washing your hands before and after you visit the HWRC.  Please also observe social distancing and stay 2 metres apart from staff and other site users when at the HWRC.

Can I walk my waste into the site if I live close-by?

No. The site is very busy, and designed for vehicle-access, not pedestrian access and does not have a dedicated pedestrian access, so is not safe to enter by foot.

I have been doing some DIY at home. Can I bring the waste?

No, please store this waste at home. Portree HWRC has opened for essential use only. Please think about others at this difficult time and only go to the HWRC if your waste cannot be stored without causing risk of injury, or harm to health. If you can temporarily store your waste in a way that does not pose a risk to your or others safety or human health, then you must continue to do so.

I have clothes and shoes that I want to donate. Are the charity clothing banks on site open?

No, the charities that empty the textile banks across the Highland region are not able to do this at the moment due to staff shortages. Please store these items at home because charities will want your donation when they open again.

I am a trader and I normally use the Waste Transfer Stations and pay for my waste disposal, are these open?

The Portree Waste Transfer Stations will be open from 15th June for business waste to be disposed of.  Due to social distancing measures in place at these sites, please call our Service Centre on 01349 886603 to arrange a day and time to deliver your waste. When you arrive at the site please stay in your vehicle until the site attendant instructs you what to do.

Please regularly check our website for updates.

We offer a business waste collection service across the region, please email our commercial waste team for further information.

PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE AND AFTER VISITING THE HOUSEHOLD WASTE RECYCLING CENTRES

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