Waste aware Update – May 2020

Put used masks and gloves in your bin


Like us, you may have seen increasing numbers of disposable gloves, wet wipes and masks being dropped as litter around the county – and reaching the sea.


These items pose a risk to others, including our street cleansing crews, if they are thrown on the floor. Keep our streets tidy and our waste collection crews safe.


The best place for disposable gloves, facial masks, tissues and wipes is in your rubbish bin. If you are using these whilst you are out, please take these home with you to dispose of safely in your bin.


There are many options for reusable cloth masks to buy or make online.

Partial re-opening of Hertfordshire’s HWRCs 


Since our last update, Hemel and Hoddesdon Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) have also been reopened, bringing the total to 12 HWRCs that are open for essential visits only.


These sites remain under tight social distancing controls to keep everyone safe, so staff will not be able to help you carry waste from your car to the containers. Materials are limited (see below) and expect queues.

Limited material types being accepted


We’ll accept garden waste, card, wood, rubble, non-recyclable waste, metal and electrical appliances (including large items like fridges / cookers).


Please do not bring other materials to the site. We cannot take textiles, plasterboard or commercial waste currently. They may have to be discarded as waste.


Containers for other materials may be reopened in the future as Government advice changes. Please check our website and Facebook page for updates. 

Plan your journey – avoid long queues


As expected, extremely long queues have been present outside many HWRC sites over the last 2 weeks, up to 3.5 hours in some cases. This is due to the strict one in, one out policy with limited vehicles on site, designed to keep everyone safe.

With over 35,000 visits seen since sites have reopened, please consider if your trip is essential and check the online queue time tracker before leaving home.

Do what you can to reduce the amount of time you spend on site by sorting your waste before leaving home. Please don’t bring vans to the sites.


If there is a long queue on the road when you approach the road, site staff or the police may request you return another time.

Only visit HWRCs for waste you can’t store


Most local council home recycling and rubbish collections are running normally so please use these first. Check our website for how to recycle right. If you can store other items safely at home this is a much better option at the moment.


Our main message, in accordance with government advice is that journeys should only be made where there is no alternative.