MASSIVE queues were seen at Homebase, Costa and recycling centres today as locked down Brits ventured out into the sunshine.
Homebase stores across the country let customers in for the first time since the lockdown, while recycling centres also reopened after a 300 per cent rise in fly-tipping.
Rubbish dumps were ordered to reopen this week with Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick saying on Tuesday he expected tips to reopen “within weeks”.
Photographs outside a tip in Bolton today showed about 100 cars queuing around the block to dump waste.
Coffee chain Costa also saw long queues as it opened up more drive-thru services having started an initial trial two weeks ago.
Baristas were pictured wearing masks as they served up eager motorists wanting their caffeine fix.
In Greater Manchester, social distancing measures will be followed at the tips with a number plate recognition system in place.
Visits will then be limited to certain days depending on their vehicle registration.
It comes after Mr Jenrick warned delaying opening waste centres will mean longer queues when they eventually do.
But other councils remain hesitant to reopen dumps in the coronavirus lockdown – flagging concerns around staff absences and a lack of personal protection equipment (PPE).
And police will be needed to manage “inevitable” traffic queues at tips and a permit system and longer opening hours could be considered to deal with demand, councillor David Renard, environment spokesman for the LGA, said.
He said: “HWRCs (household waste recycling centres) can only re-open when they have sufficient staffing and social distancing measures are in place to protect staff and members of the public, which remains paramount.
“To safely manage visitor flow and pent-up demand, the police will need to manage inevitable traffic queues at the sites, with consideration needing to be given to whether supportive measures, such as a permit system and longer opening hours might be needed.”
He said it is crucial that staff are given PPE and said reopenings will be decided locally based on risk assessments taken in each local authority area.
People intending to go are being reminded they should only do so “if you really need to” and remain two metres from people at all times.
New research this week showed fly-tipping had increased by 300 per cent in rural communities during the lockdown.
Researchers from the universities of Southampton and Portsmouth said the increase in illegal waste dumping followed the closure of almost all tips, while at the same time the number of DIY projects has increased by householders stuck at home.
Two people were arrested in Lincolnshire on Thursday after a raid on an illegal waste site that the Environment Agency said was the size of a football pitch.
Cambridgeshire County Council: No reopening date set
Cumbria Country Council: Review undertaken with decision made to keep tips closed
Derbyshire County Council: Recycling centres to be opened ‘as soon as possible’
Devon County Council: No reopening date
Durham County Council: All sites remain closed, no reopening date set
East Sussex County Council: All sites remain closed, no reopening date set
Essex County Council: All sites remain closed, no reopening date set
Greater Manchester: Most tips open from May 2 with entry based on staggered number plates
Hampshire County Council: No reopening date set with social distancing measures to be introduced
Hertfordshire County Council: All sites remain closed, no reopening date set
Kent County Council: Ten sites closed, no reopening date set
Lancashire County Council: No reopening date set but restrictions expected
Leicestershire County Council: No reopening date set
Lincolnshire County Council: No reopening date set but restrictions expected
Merseyside: 13 out of 16 tips will open on May 4
Newport County Council: No reopening date
Nottinghamshire County Council: All sites remain closed, no reopening date set
Norfolk County Council: No reopening date set
Northumberland Country Council: All 12 tips to be reopened May 4 with number of vehicles to be limited
North Yorkshire County Council: No reopening date
Oxfordshire County Council: All sites remain closed, no reopening date set
Shropshire County Council: All sites remain closed, no reopening date set
Somerset County Council: All sites remain closed, no reopening date set
Staffordshire County Council: All sites remain closed, no reopening date set
Suffolk County Council: All sites remain closed, no reopening date set
Surrey County Council: Phased reopening of tips
Warwickshire County Council: All sites remain closed, no reopening date set
Wiltshire County Council: All sites remain closed, no reopening date set
West Sussex County Council: All 11 sites remain closed, no reopening date set
Worcestershire County Council: All sites remain closed, no reopening date set
Plastics, commercial waste and household furniture were being burned in piles as big as bungalows at the site in Fen Lane, Long Bennington, the agency said.
In London an intensive care nurse she had to clean up rubbish dumped outside her Ealing home, after working a 13-hour shift.
Margaret, who did not want her surname included, said: “People just drive around and dump in my front garden.”
She said the problem had become worse since the lockdown.
She added: “We have rats the size of small dogs and they come into the building. There are children in the building and this poses a health hazard.”
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And shocking photographs revealed an illegal fly-tipping dumping ground in Wales now has so much rubbish it can be seen from space.
The eyesore, in Newport, is littered with household items including sofas, bathtubs, fridges and freezers.
Hundreds of car tyres, piles of clothes, suitcases and doors are scattered across the disused road off the M4.
The site is now so full of rubbish the piles of waste are visible from satellite on Google Earth.
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Resident Chris Taylor filmed the scale of the rubbish while out on his daily exercise with his family.
He said: “It’s been like this for some time. The frustrating thing about it is the scenery around it is amazing. The cycle path is lovely but then you turn in to this.
“It’s a concern as it is so close to the houses. At the end of the road there is an abandoned boat wreckage.”
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