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Portsmouth’s household waste and recycling centre (HWRC) will reopen on Monday 11 May from 10am-4pm for essential use.

The HWRC was temporarily closed at the end of March following the government’s announcement that people should stay home to protect the NHS and prevent the spread of coronavirus, and only travel for very limited and specific reasons.

Portsmouth City Council has been working with partners on plans to allow residents safe access to the Port Solent site.

To keep residents safe the HWRC will be operating very differently, so no one should visit unless they have read the guidance. Guidance can be found on our Portsmouth Household waste and recycling centre page.

To manage traffic levels cars will be admitted based on the last number present on the car’s number plate.

Number plates with the last number in the plate being an odd number (one, three, five, seven or nine) – will be allowed on odd days (11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 21st, 23rd) while plates with the last number in the plate being an even number (zero, two, four, six or eight) – will be allowed on even days (12th,14th,16th,18th, 20th, 22nd, 24th). This will be in place for the first two weeks of reopening (Monday 11 May – Sunday 24 May).

Portsmouth’s HWRC is part of a contract involving Hampshire and Southampton councils. Plans have been worked on with partners as well as Veolia, the company that operates the sites.

Cllr Dave Ashmore, the council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “We have been working with our partners on plans to reopen the household waste and recycling centre for essential use.

We know how important it is to residents and have been working to ensure that it is as safe as possible and that we are following government guidance. The HWRC will be operating very differently than usual and residents must read the guidance on the council’s website before they visit.

You should only visit the HWRC if the build-up of waste is a posing a risk of injury or to health. Please continue to use kerbside services for domestic waste and recycling.”


The following measures will be in place across Hampshire’s network of HWRCs:

  • Use of sites is only for essential disposal of waste whereby storing such waste causes a risk of injury or to health
  • As per government guidelines, residents in the specified vulnerable category (those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, people over 70 and pregnant women) are strongly advised not to visit a site.
  • Restricted numbers of vehicles will be permitted to access the site at any one time and site staff will enforce this at the site entrance.
  • There will be staff at the entrance to each site, wearing a body camera, to manage the flow of vehicles. Security staff will be deployed at all sites and there will be a zero-tolerance approach to any form of abuse.
  • New temporary barriers will be in place at the entrance to each site and used to mark out new parking arrangements with site staff guiding vehicles, from a safe distance, into spaces
  • As far as possible, only one person per household should visit the HWRC.
  • Due to social distancing measures, site staff will be unable to provide any assistance with unloading material or carrying material. Residents are asked to bring only the amount of waste they can comfortably carry and empty into containers
  • Trailers are not permitted. Enforcement of social distancing on site means severely reduced capacity for manoeuvring trailers. Vans should be bringing no more waste than that which would fit in an average saloon car boot
  • Everyone must always keep at least a two-metre distance from others at all times.
  • The site will not be accepting chargeable waste – soil, rubble, asbestos and plasterboard. However, some processors have shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is likely that some materials outlets may not be available in the short term. Please check the website before your visit to check if any specific material is not able to be accepted temporarily.
  • Reuse sales areas will remain closed. Where possible, please continue to store items of furniture which could be reused, donate to local furniture charities. Please see the Smart Living website for more information on furniture reuse.


Where residents or members of their households have had COVID19 symptoms in the last 14 days, they should not travel to or enter a HWRC. After this period, any COVID-19 contaminated waste should be double bagged and put aside for 72 hours before being brought to a site.