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Reopening of RRCs- FAQs

Reuse and recycling centres (RRCs) are open to residents. The restrictions are in place so that site operations can comply with essential social distancing measures, and to keep staff and visitors safe on site.


If you want to visit an RRC you must have a valid booking and comply with the conditions of entry.


The following Frequently Asked Questions are designed to help you understand the conditions of entry, and how to access an RRC while restrictions are in place.


1. Which RRCs are open and when?

Reuse and recycling centres are open from Wednesday 13 May.

  • Summers Lane, Barnet, seven days a week, 10am to 6pm
  • Western Road, Haringey, seven days a week, 10am to 6pm
  • Hornsey Street, Islington, seven days a week, 4pm to 8pm
  • Gateway Road, Waltham Forest, seven days a week, 9am to 6pm
  • South Access Road, Waltham Forest, seven days a week, 10am to 6pm
  • Kings Road, Waltham Forest, seven days a week, 10am to 6pm (and will accept garden waste only)

Access is restricted to ensure the safety of staff and visitors, and to allow us to comply with social distancing requirements. You must have a valid booking to visit any RRC.

Site restrictions may be subject to change. Please check wiseuptowaste.org.uk before leaving home for the latest information.

Currently only general waste, bulky waste, green waste and small electrical appliances are being accepted.


2. Which RRCs are still closed?

Regis Road RRC in Camden is closed for the foreseeable future.


3. Why weren’t RRCs opened as an essential business?

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the Coronavirus “lockdown” on 23 March all sites across London and in the major cities of England closed immediately. Since then we have worked to identify safe ways for the sites to operate. All RRC sites were closed at the to ensure compliance with social distancing restrictions and to ensure we could continue to deliver an effective waste and recycling collection and disposal service in north London in case of high levels of staff sickness.

The Government has now updated its guidance. The sites are therefore operating a restricted service, in line with this guidance, to allow people to dispose of any household or garden waste items. Restrictions are in place to ensure social distancing guidelines can be adhered to and to make sure that residents at risk of harm are able to dispose of their waste safely.

4. Why is access restricted?

The sites are operating a restricted service to allow people to dispose of any household or garden waste items.  Restrictions will be in place to ensure social distancing guidelines can be adhered to and to make sure that residents are able to dispose of their waste safely.

5. What are the conditions of entry?
  • a limited number of cars are allowed on site at one time
  • vans, trailers and pick-up trucks will not be allowed to enter
  • there is no pedestrian access to RRC sites (including bikes)
  • visitors need a valid booking before they leave home, or entry will be refused
  • only one person should leave the car (unless you have a Blue Badge) while on site
  • visitors should keep 2m from other people when on site
  • site staff will not be available to help with unloading – please make sure you can carry your items by yourself
  • please treat staff with respect and follow staff instructions at all times
  • only household waste (including small electrical appliances) and garden waste that can’t be stored safely at home will be accepted
  • visit wiseuptowaste.org.uk for information on individual sites before you leave home

Please note that to ensure appropriate social distancing and to manage traffic during pre-booked slots, the flow of traffic on the site may be different to usual. You will be directed by site staff.

6. How will the booking system work? Where do I book?

A valid booking is required to enter any reuse and recycling centre.

  • The link to make a booking is available here
  • It should also be accessible on your borough’s website on the waste and recycling pages.
  • The booking system provides entry during a specific time slot (time slots are in place to allow for delays on arrival at sites due to traffic congestion)
  • You can book up to 14 days in advance.
  • The slot is site specific. You must go to the site where you have a confirmed booking.
  • You will need to accept the site rules before making a booking.
  • Slots will not be opened for booking before Monday 18 May.
  • Slots will be released two weeks in advance.
7. The booking website isn't working on my device

Please note that you will need an up-to-date internet browser to access the booking site - the site will not function with Internet Explorer. Please copy the link (https://bit.ly/2yBAxIL) into another internet browser to access the site. 

8. What can I do if there are no slots available?

Please note only a limited number of cars are allowed to enter the site at any one time to allow social distancing. Your booking slot takes this into account but be aware you may be asked to queue for a period of time before being allowed on site.

If there are no slots for the time you want, you can try later in the day or the next day.

You cannot turn up and queue without a booking – if you do you will be turned away

9. What type of waste will you accept?

At the moment only green waste (garden), general (including bulky) waste and small waste electrical and electronic items are accepted at north London’s RRCs.

The type of waste accepted may change depending on government recommendations.

Only garden waste will be accepted at King’s Road RRC.

Please make sure to check wiseuptowaste.org.uk before you leave home to check the types of waste accepted.

10. Will the waste I bring be recycled?

Small electrical appliances and garden waste taken to the RRCs will be recycled.

Only limited items will be accepted at RRCs – general waste, including non-recyclable plastics, non-recyclable packaging and bulky items. These will be disposed of.

No other items will be recycled and should therefore not be taken to an RRC. This is to enable site staff to deal with the unusually high demand on sites as efficiently as possible and maintain proper social distancing to protect staff and visitors. Residents should instead, wherever possible, make the most of household recycling collections, bulky waste and hazardous waste collections offered by their local borough, or should store items at home until normal services resume wherever possible.

NLWA is urging residents to put all items that can be recycled at home in their household collections and to hang on to items that won’t be accepted at RRCs until normal services resume.

11. Can I access the site on foot?

No. There is currently no pedestrian access or access by bike to any RRC. Only cars with a valid booking will be able to enter the site.

This is to ensure the safety of staff and visitors at RRCs and will be reviewed in due course.

12. Can I bring a van/trailer/pick-up truck?

The restrictions at recycling centres are designed to ensure the safety of site staff and residents and to make sure that staff can deal effectively with the high demand at sites during this time. While safety is our top priority we also want to ensure that the site runs as smoothly as possible and traffic flows freely. Larger vehicles like vans and pick-up trucks can store a lot more waste, which can take longer to dispose of. We’re therefore asking residents not to bring these vehicles at this time. We will keep the conditions of entry under review and updates will be available on wiseuptowaste.org.uk

13. How many people can I bring with me?

You should bring as few people with you as possible. When you are on-site only one person will be allowed to exit the car to dispose of your items unless you have a valid Blue Badge. If you have a Blue Badge someone else from your household can help you dispose of your items on-site. Site staff will not be able to help to enable them to comply with social distancing measures.

14. Will you offer help to older or disabled customers?

Only cars with a valid booking will be accepted. If you have a blue badge, you will be able to bring someone with you to help you with the disposal of your waste.

Unfortunately, due to the social distancing rules in place, site staff will not be able to help you with your waste.

Most of the seven north London borough councils are now offering household bulky waste collections.

15. How should I dispose of my waste if I can’t visit an RRC?

NLWA is encouraging residents to make the most of their household waste and recycling collections, and any bulky waste and hazardous waste collections offered by their local borough. Residents should also store other items safely at home, and try and reduce the amount of waste they produce. Information, advice and tips on wasting less are available here.

Borough contact details are available here.

16. Do I need to bring personal identification?

You do not need to bring any personal identification but you must bring your booking confirmation or you will not be able to enter the site.

17. Will PPE or hand sanitiser be available for me to use?

Social distancing measures are in place but PPE and hand sanitiser will not be available for visitors. You may wish to wear your own gloves and/or face mask but this won’t be mandatory, except at Hornsey Street RRC where residents are asked to wear face coverings, in line with the latest Government guidance. This is because Hornsey Street RRC is an enclosed facility.

18. If the site is closed/there is a long queue can I leave items outside the site?

No. Leaving any items for reuse, disposal or recycling outside the site counts as fly-tipping and is illegal.

19. How do I make a comment or complaint about the service?

If you want to make a comment or complaint about the RRC service, please email post.nlwa@nlwa.gov.uk or click here. If you still have questions you can contact us by email or by phone on 020 8803 1322 .