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A PERIOD of free special uplifts of bulk waste should be introduced to prevent recycling tips being overwhelmed when they reopen, a councillor has insisted.

Local authorities across Scotland are planning to allow people back into Household Waste Recycling Centres on June 1 following a period of shutdown due to the Covid-19 crisis.

New layouts and plans to ease traffic congestion are being drawn up by Renfrewshire Council as officers grapple with how to get the sites back open while keeping residents and staff safe during the pandemic.

The area’s five centres will be opened on a phased basis and residents will be told to only bring black bag household waste initially.

Councillor Eddie Devine said he is pleased progress is being made with getting the centres reopened but has called for a temporary offer of free special uplifts as he fears amenity sites could become overwhelmed.

The Paisley Southeast representative added: “I am delighted the tips are reopening. I think it’s important we get as much of the bulk rubbish away as quickly as possible but I do think the rubbish sites could become overwhelmed.

“I’m still behind a phased approach rather than opening all five of them but if we open, say for example, three of them, then we are going to have people travelling from all over Renfrewshire to them. It’s not going to be easy.”

Residents can arrange for a special uplift of bulk items such as cookers and fridges for a fee but this service has been out of action since the Covid-19 lockdown was enforced.

The absence of the service, alongside the closure of recycling sites, has led to residents fearing there will be a major spike in flytipping.

The council has not confirmed whether a period of free special uplifts would be feasible or when this service will return to normal.

A council spokesman said: “We’re working closely with the Scottish Government and Cosla [Convention of Scottish Local Authorities] to follow a national approach on the reopening of recycling centres on June 1, so we’re ready to go when it is confirmed that it is safe to do so.

“When they do reopen, it will be on a phased basis and we will be asking residents to only visit our recycling centres if it’s essential and, initially, with black bag household waste only.

“We really appreciate the patience of local people and we are working hard to put measures in place to allow us to open safely for the public and for our key workers. This involves redesigning layouts to ensure physical distancing and arranging traffic management to ease any potential congestion.

“We will provide further details on the exact arrangements for reopening to residents as soon as we are able through the local media, our website and social media channels.

"These arrangements will be kept under review, in line with national guidance.”

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