ALRESFORD Recycling Centre is one of the three in Hampshire where pedestrian access is to be trialled.

The county council portfolio holder Rob Humby approved the decision last Thursday in the light of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, expected from July 19.

He was lobbied by the new city councillor for the town Fiona Isaacs.

Cllr Isaacs said she was delighted that the county council has agreed that three protected pedestrian slots a week will not require pedestrians to book to take in waste, starting next month. The slots will an hour-long, three mornings a week. The trial will last six months.

She also asked if this could include mobility scooters within the pedestrian slot and this was also agreed.

The pedestrian access is also being tested at Hedge End and Waterlooville.

The booking system is also being retained. The county council says the system has eliminated queuing, congestion and pollution on surrounding roads. The easing of restrictions and reduced need for additional space between parked vehicles will mean that the number of booking slots available for each site can be increased.

The charge of £5 for non-Hampshire residents, suspended during the pandemic, will be reinstated. These arrangements do not apply to Southampton and Portsmouth residents and, thanks to a financial agreement between the respective local authorities and Hampshire County Council, the charge would not be payable by individual residents living in Dorset or West Sussex (who visit Hampshire sites).

Cllr Humby said: “It is important that we plan for how residents can continue to access our waste and recycling centres when the country moves to step 4 on the Government roadmap. I am mindful that while we would want to return to pre-pandemic arrangements, I think that we need to take a responsible and cautious approach and, therefore, I fully support the proposals.”

Glass banks will be removed from HWRCs, by July 1, following a decision made in October 2020. This move was due to be implemented on April 1 but was postponed due to the pandemic response.

The decision was made in the light of steadily decreasing deposits of glass at HWRCs, as well as the cost of the glass banks at HWRCs now outweighing the value of the material from re-sale, meaning that the service operates at a loss.

With the vast availability of glass banks across Hampshire – such as in supermarket car parks - and a clear indication that glass will become collected from all household kerbsides by district and borough councils (as a result of the Government’s Consistency in Collection policies), the withdrawal of glass banks from the HWRCs should not unduly impact on residents’ ability to recycle glass bottles and jars.