Barely a week after the council reopened its recycling centres, Croydon was forced to close the Factory Lane dump this morning because it could not cope with “the high volume of visitors” and still maintain proper social distancing measures to protect the health of staff and residents.
The council reopened its recycling centres – Factory Lane, Purley Oaks and Fishers Farm in New Addington – last Wednesday after two months of coronavirus lockdown. The council made the announcement of the relaxation just as the borough’s director of public health warned that we are now “at the most dangerous time in a pandemic”.
In announcing the reopening, the council claimed that there would be, “new rules in place to help keep residents safe whilst on-site”.
Long queues of vehicles had been commonplace at Purley Oaks and Factory Lane in pre-covid times, so it was no surprise when the gates of the dumps reopened that centres would soon attract dozens of cars waiting for access. Managing such access will have relied on careful organisation, and a lot of patience.
That was no longer possible this morning, and the council was forced to issue an emergency statement on social media to advise that Factory Lane was closed “due to the high volume of visitors”.
The official @YourCroydon Twitter feed added the stern warning of a return to lockdown at its two other dumps: “Our other sites are also extremely busy so please consider whether your trip is absolutely necessary. Sites will be temporarily closed if they become too busy.”
Other councils in the South London Waste Partnership – Sutton, Merton and Kingston – also reopened their recycling centres last week, but with an appointment booking system in place to avoid the kind of long queues of idling vehicles which have been experienced at Factory Lane and Purley Oaks since last Wednesday.
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