Household Waste Recycling Centres

Household Waste Recycling Centres FAQs

All Household Waste Recycling Centres are open. To ensure social distancing measures are maintained it is necessary to operate the sites with some restrictions. Before travelling to a site, please check opening times and materials accepted.

1. What types of waste can I take to Household Waste Recycling Centres?

Currently the only waste accepted is:

  • General household waste – To cut down on time spent at the site, please bring waste in bags
  • Bulky household items – such as sofas, mattresses, rolls of carpet and garden tools. Items not accepted: soil, rubble, plasterboard, kitchen units, bathroom suites, doors and similar waste from DIY activities will continue to be excluded from sites at the present time.
  • 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 on time spent on site, please flatten all cardboard before arriving.
  • Small electrical items
  • Large electrical items
  • Scrap metal (accepted at some sites, please check individual site details)
  • Wood - (accepted at some sites, please check individual site details) such as furniture and garden fencing, Excluding construction timber, agricultural fencing and doors
  • Light Bulbs including energy efficient bulbs and fluorescent tubes
  • Household Batteries

Only one person is permitted out of the vehicle, unless it is necessary for a second person to assist with lifting and handling heavier items such as white goods. Site staff are unable to assist with handling waste. Please only bring waste you can carry and empty into the containers.

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

2. What vehicles are permitted at HWRC?

  • Cars and small non-commercial 4x4 vehicles.
  • Vans (under 3.5 tonnes maximum gross weight) and trailers are permitted into the HWRC subject to the restrictions – this includes a requirement to pre-book at many sites – please see details below
  • Adapted vehicles for disabled use

All other vehicles are not permitted

3. Do I need to book to come to the HWRC?

If you wish to bring your waste in a van under 3.5 tonnes( maximum gross weight) and/or trailer then you need to book an appointment if you wish to use any of the following sites.

  • Alness
  • Dingwall
  • Fort William
  • Inverness
  • Nairn
  • Portree
  • Tain
  • Thurso
  • Wick

 Book a slot

4. Is it just vans and trailers that need to book?

Yes. Small vans under 3.5 tonnes (maximum gross weight) and/or trailers are the only vehicles that need to book. Cars, pick-ups under 3.5 tonnes (gross maximum weight) and all adapted vehicles for disabled use do not need to book. 

5. How do I make a booking for my van or trailer?

Bookings are made on the Highland Council website

Choose the HWRC you wish to visit. Click on the booking form and enter your name, address, vehicle type, registration and type of waste at least 48 hours in advance of visiting the site. Once the online booking is complete a confirmation text or email will be sent to you and must be shown to the Site Attendant upon arrival. 

6. Can I choose a time slot to arrive?

When you book, you will be given a time slot (e.g 10am – 1pm) to arrive on site. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before your time slot is due to end, to ensure you have enough time to offload your items. Booking a slot does not give priority access – vans and trailers with a booking will need to join a queue with other site users at busy times in order to gain access

7. How often can I book a slot for my van and/or trailer?

Van and/or trailer owners can book one slot per 7 day period (Sunday - Saturday) to deposit their waste. This means only one visit to the HWRC during a 7 day period.  In order to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus, it is important that we continue to ensure that social distancing measures are maintained on the sites, therefore it will be necessary to operate with some restrictions in order to manage the number of visitors and flow of traffic at the sites.

8. Can I bring a van and a trailer?

Yes, you are allowed to bring a van and trailer with the permitted materials providing there is sufficient capacity in the containers and that waiting times for other sites users are at manageable levels. The Site Attendant may inform householders with large loads to take their waste away and return at an alternative time.

9. I don't have access to the internet, how can I book a slot?

Please ask a relative or friend to book a slot for you.

10. If I have van and/or trailer and wish to use a HWRC with no booking system – what should I do?

Vans (under 3.5 tonnes maximum gross weight) and trailers are permitted into the HWRC subject to the restrictions. Site staff will manage the facility to ensure there is sufficient capacity in the containers and that waiting times for other sites users are at manageable levels. The Site Attendant may inform householders with large loads to take their waste away and return at an alternative time. Please check the site opening times and materials accepted before you travel to the site. 

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

Soil, rubble, plasterboard, kitchen units, bathroom suites, doors and similar waste from DIY activities will continue to be excluded from sites at the present time.

The HWRC are open to accept specific material:

general household waste, garden waste, cardboard, small and large electrical appliances, wood, scrap metal, batteries and light bulbs only (see FAQ 1 above).

Alternatives for disposing of DIY type waste are as follows:

  1. Check the list of items accepted and arrange a bulky waste collectionfrom your home or call 01349 886603 (this service will incur a charge).
  2. Visit our website or call 01349 886603 to arrange skip hire (please note, this is only available in Sutherland, Skye and Lochalsh and will incur a charge)
  3. Contact a private waste management contractor (e.g. skip hire company or waste transfer facility) to manage your waste. The waste management contractor will charge for any services provided.

12. Are the HWRC opening times the same as before?

No. All sites that are open have revised opening hours and days. Please check the individual details for your local HWRC on our website.

Sites may need to close at short notice. For example, if it is no longer safe to keep them open, if containers are completely full, social distancing measures are not being properly observed, or they are having an unacceptable impact on surrounding roads through queuing traffic.

13. When is the best time to visit?

Queues tend to build up at our larger sites whilst waiting for the sites to open each morning but reduce once the gates are opened.  You may experience delays and queuing at any time – please be courteous to site staff and other road users should you be delayed when accessing the site.

As we introduce more materials and vehicles we expect HWRCs to be very busy and are anticipating larger numbers of visitors than usual and possibly increased queues of traffic.

Due to social distancing restrictions, we will not be able to accommodate the same amount of people in the same time frame as we normally would.

Please do not arrive at the site early, to reduce impact on local roads and surrounding homes and businesses, especially as some nearby residents may be trying to get to work. Before sites open each day, we will be moving full skips and cannot do this if there is traffic congestion.

14. Why can you not open for longer if it is going to be busy?

The opening hours at most sites were extended in July and weekend opening for nearly all sites is in place from October. At the moment we are unable to open the HWRC for longer as we require additional staff at many of the sites to manage the number of visitors in order for social distancing measures to be observed. Also, staff need time outside of these hours to make sure containers are emptied and ready for use, and that sites are tidy and safe to access.

15. What should I expect when I visit?

Staff will be in place at the entrance to each site 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.

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, unless two people are needed to dispose of a large item. 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 do not bring children with you if possible. If you have no alternative, please ensure they always stay in the car

16. 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.

Please only bring waste that you can carry and empty into the containers. Only one person is permitted out of the vehicle, unless it is absolutely necessary for a second person to assist with lifting and handling heavier items such as white goods.

17. How are you making sites safe to attend?

All HWRC 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.

18. Are all the HWRC open?

All Household Waste Recycling Centres are now open.Please regularly check our website for updates.

19. I am a vulnerable person, can I visit an HWRC?

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 HWRC

20. What should I do if someone in my house has symptoms.

Please do not come to the HWRC if you are:

  • symptomatic with coronavirus (COVID-19) (you should be following the 10-day self- isolation guidance)
  • in a 14 day household isolation

21. 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 a HWRC.

22. Can I walk my waste into the site if there is a big queue or I live close-by?

No. The sites are very busy, and designed for vehicle-access, not pedestrian access and do not have dedicated pedestrian access, so are not safe to enter by foot.

Queue jumping by parking nearby and walking with waste will not be tolerated, as it is potentially dangerous and unfair to those that have waited.

23. Can I leave my waste at the entrance of the site?

Any waste left outside an HWRC, 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-tipping.

24. 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 in HWRC across the Highland region are not able to do this at the moment due to staff shortages. Please use the textile banks at Recycling Points or donate to charities that have re-opened.

25. Can I bring waste from my business or other commercial activity?

The HWRC do not accept waste from businesses or any other commercial activity, as the sites are for household waste only. We offer a business waste collection service across the region, please email commercial.waste@highland.gov.uk for further information.

We also have 8 Waste Transfer Stations (please see Q 26 for details) where business waste is accepted for a charge.

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

The following Waste Transfer Stations are now open for business waste to be disposed of:

  • Aviemore
  • Brora 
  • Gairloch
  • Lochinver
  • Portree
  • Seater 
  • Tongue
  • Ullapool

All business waste disposal is for account customers only. To set up an account or to arrange a day and time to deliver your waste please email: commercial.waste@highland.gov.uk Charges apply to all business waste and are based on weight and type of materials or size of vehicle depositing the 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

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

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