- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
On Friday 24 April 2020, I wrote to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs regarding the closure of recycling centres during the coronavirus lockdown. I am calling on the Government to ensure the safe re-opening of recycling centres in the interests of public health. You can read my letter in full below:
“Dear Secretary of State
I have been contacted by several of my constituents regarding the closure of recycling centres.
I support the Government’s efforts to encourage the public to stay at home during this crisis. However, the closure of recycling centres during the lockdown has led to an alarming increase in fly tipping. In March alone, there were more than 300 reported incidents of fly-tipping in Walsall. Rubbish that builds up in this way poses a public health risk. Many authorities have also said this surge in fly-tipping has put more pressure on waste crews, some of whom have reduced staffing owing to coronavirus.
As you know, the Government’s latest guidance states that “where possible key [waste] sites should be maintained” by councils, as long as social distancing rules can be followed. Further Government guidance and assistance is required to help local authorities and contractors safely reopen household waste recycling centres in line with social distancing measures. At present, they are not receiving the right level of direction or support from your Department.
I am calling on Defra to ensure the safe re-opening of recycling centres in the interests of public health.”