TIPS in West Berkshire will stay open for longer when the coronavirus lockdown ends, after a successful trial at Padworth.

Padworth and Newton Road household waste recycling centres will both open later in the morning, but stay open for longer in the evening.

Kofi Adu-Gyamfi, waste manager for West Berkshire Council, said since the Padworth trial started, more people have been using the tip.

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He detailed the proposed changes in a report to the council executive, which will meet on April 30 to approve the extended opening hours.

The extended opening hours will cost the council between £20,000 to £40,000 a year, according to Mr Adu-Gyamfi.

Before the trial, Padworth opened from 12pm to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 6pm on weekends and bank holidays. During the trial, the tip opened from 8am to 6pm every day. After the lockdown, it will open from 9am to 6pm every day.

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The Newton Road tip meanwhile used to open from 8.30am to 5.30pm every day, extended to 7.30pm between April and September. After the lockdown, the tip will open from 9am to 6pm every day, extended to 8pm on Thursdays between April and September.

The opening hours will come into effect when the tips reopen. They were shut when the social distancing rules were brought in. Usually, they are open every day of the year, apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

In Reading and Bracknell, tips will open again “very soon” after concerns their closure has increased fly-tipping. 

Mr Adu-Gyamfi said: “The council is actively working with our waste contractor on a plan to reopen our household waste recycling centres (perhaps in a phased manner) in the near future. However, we are unable to do so until the government clarifies its guidance on what constitutes an essential journey whilst we remain under lock-down restrictions.

“Our kerbside waste collections (including the garden waste subscription service) have been happening without any disruptions throughout this period. Additionally, kerbside bulky waste collections have been restarted after a temporary suspension. We want to thank residents for their cooperation and ask that they store some waste safely, until our recycling centres are reopened”.

The council will wait until the coronavirus situation changes, before telling people living in West Berkshire about the new opening hours. Mr Adu-Gyamfi said this was to avoid “confusing” people.

He said: “Due to the recent Covid-19 situation which has resulted in the temporary closure of the household waste recycling centres, we have paused our efforts to notify residents about the new hours to avoid confusing the public.”