Limited reopening of Oxfordshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres announced

Residents in Oxfordshire are being asked not to make a dash to the county’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) when they reopen on Monday 18th May and risk spending time in tailbacks seen elsewhere in the country where sites have re-opened.

The reopening applies to all Oxfordshire HWRCs: Alkerton, Ardley, Dix Pit, Drayton, Oakley Wood, Redbridge and Stanford in the Vale.

The seven sites will operate with reduced opening hours. They will open at 8am and close at 4pm. The sites will be open seven days a week as long as they are not overwhelmed and can operate safely.

The number of vehicles allowed onto the site will be reduced by approximately 50% to allow for social distancing. This means that queues are highly likely, especially at peak times such as weekends.

Residents are therefore being urged only to visit the site if their trip is essential and they cannot safely store their waste at home.

Government guidance says that trips to a HWRC should only be made if ‘essential’ – that is if the waste cannot be stored safely without harm to health. The Government guidance states: “It would be reasonable for residents to undertake a journey to a HWRC if the waste or recycling could not be stored safely at home or disposed of through other legitimate routes such as a dedicated collection. By this we mean that the waste/recycling could not be stored on their property without causing a risk of injury, health or harm to the resident or other members of their household or harm to public health and amenity.”

Things to remember when visiting the reopened centres: 

  • You should only visit the site if you cannot safely store your waste at home.
  • Revised opening hours: All sites will open at 8am and close at 4pm to allow them to be cleaned for the following day. The summer evening opening hours are suspended.
  • Vehicle numbers and parking bays will be reduced on site, and once the maximum is reached the site will operate on a one-out one-in basis. PLEASE NOTE the potential for long delays and queues.
  • Please follow any instructions given by traffic marshals to ensure queues are managed safely
  • We will continue to charge for non-household waste brought to sites and this will be by contactless card payment only. If you are unable to pay by contactless means you will not be able to deposit non household waste at the site.
  • Residents are expected to self-police and abide by social distancing of two metres from site teams and other residents at all times.
  • For an initial period, no hire vans or trailers will be permitted onto sites.
  • Site teams will be there for guidance only and will not be able to assist residents in unloading their waste.
  • Only one resident will be permitted out of the vehicle, unless it is to unload a heavy load which would otherwise be unsafe to remove. Visits are best made by just one person per vehicle.
  • In line with Public Health England guidance, residents who are vulnerable, or who are showing symptoms which may indicate coronavirus, should not visit household recycling centres.
  • Residents are requested to ensure all waste is pre-sorted before arriving at site to ensure minimum time on site.

Specific rules and restrictions will vary by site. Please refer to the county council website before leaving home to familiarise yourself with these and to avoid frustration and delay:


Oxfordshire County Council has been heartened by the support and respect shown to its refuse collection services. The council respectfully asks during these difficult times that the same level of courtesy and respect is shown to our site teams. Please expect delays along with the risk of being turned away after 4pm irrespective of the size of any queue for entry.

Unsure what to recycle at our HWRCs? Residents can check if a HWRC can deal with their material by using our new online tool Waste Wizard: https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/environment-and-planning/waste-and-recycling/household-waste/repair-reuse-or-recycle

You may find that you can recycle some of your goods without having to make the journey to one of our Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Although the council sincerely hopes they will not be needed, residents are reminded that all sites have CCTV and site teams are issued with bodycams. There will be zero-tolerance of abuse and threatening behaviour to site teams and anyone found to do so may be banned from our sites.

Cllr Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment said:

“I’d like to thank our residents for their patience in holding their waste for recycling at this difficult time. I would also like to ask the people of Oxfordshire to use the sites with care as they reopen and consider if they are able to store their waste for a bit longer as we all adjust to continued social distancing.”