Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus

Portsmouth City Council is re-opening the Portsmouth Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) with opening hours 10am - 6pm. Please do not queue before 9.30am, otherwise you will be turned away.

Resident vehicles schedule

From Monday 11 May to Monday 8 June, the Paulsgrove HWRC is admitting cars based on the last number present on their car's number plate. If you go to the HWRC on the wrong day you will be turned away.

Schedule:

  • Friday 29 May: odd number
  • Saturday 30 May: even number
  • Sunday 31 May: odd number
  • Monday 1 June: even number
  • Tuesday 2 June: odd number
  • Wednesday 3 June: even number
  • Thursday 4 June: odd number
  • Friday 5 June: even numbers
  • Saturday 6 June: odd number
  • Sunday 7 June: even number
  • Monday 8 June: odd number

Examples:

If your car licence plate looks like this:

  • AB01 CDE : The last numerical digit is ‘1’ so you will be allowed into the HWRC on ‘odd number’ days.
  • ABC 123D : The last numerical digit is ‘3’ so you will be allowed into the HWRC on ‘odd number’ days. 
  • AB12 CDE : The last numerical digit is ‘2’ so you will be allowed into the HWRC on ‘even number’ days.
  • ABC 246D : The last numerical digit is ‘6’ so you will be allowed into the HWRC on ‘even number’ days.

    Note: '0' is counted as an even number.

Materials that aren't accepted

Please do not bring the following materials to the HWRC site:

  • textiles
  • chargeable waste streams (soil, rubble, plasterboard and asbestos).

    Disposing of these materials at the site could result in a fine. CCTV is in operation and site staff will be wearing body cameras.

Restrictions on site

  • To ensure the safety of residents and site staff, no walking in of waste is permitted.
  • 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.
  • We ask that only one person per household visit the HWRC. Only the driver will be permitted to leave the vehicle to dispose of waste. Blue Badge holders are exempt from this rule.
  • Commercial vehicles are permitted if it is a residents only means of transport and have a valid van permit, however trailers are not permitted because of the time they take to manoeuvre with reduced site capacity and unload leading further delays.
  • Reuse sales areas will remain closed. Where possible, please continue to store items of furniture or donate to local furniture charities. Online platforms could also provide a new home locally. Please visit the Hampshire County Council Smart Living website for more information on furniture reuse

    Please note there is likely to be queuing at the sites, please be patient. There will be zero tolerance of abuse of site staff and staff will be wearing body cameras.

Read our Privacy Notice

Coronavirus safety measures

  • Residents are not permitted to visit the site if they, or members of the household, have shown symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • Vulnerable groups are strongly advised not to visit the site (clinically vulnerable, pregnant women or over 70's)
  • Due to social distancing measures, unfortunately site staff will be unable to provide any assistance with unloading material or carrying material. Please ensure you only bring the amount of waste you can comfortably carry and empty into containers.
  • All site users must keep a 2-metre distance from others at all times.
  • For your own safety, please wear gloves.

Frequently asked questions

Why are you reducing the hours?

The reduced opening hours are to ensure the sites can be thoroughly sanitised each day and all the bins emptied ready for the next day.

Are the sites likely to close again?

The sites will remain open with social distancing measures in place until further notice.

I am over 70, pregnant or clinically vulnerable, can I visit the site?

Residents who have been identified as vulnerable by the government are strongly advised not to visit a site. Where possible, please ask a member of your family or a friend to dispose of any waste posing a health risk.

Can I use my van?

Yes, however, to speed up throughput and ensure sites are available to as many residents as possible, we politely request that van drivers only bring the equivalent of a normal saloon car boot load to the sites.  Van users should display their van permits in the window of their vehicle to enable them to be seen from a safe distance by site staff, however they will not be handed over for signing.

Why can’t I bring my trailer?

Enforcement of social distancing on site means reduced capacity which will make manoeuvring trailers difficult to manage safely. Keeping trailers off site will increase the number of individual vehicles that can be safely accommodated and speed up throughput at this unusual time.

Does my vehicle need to be registered?

No

I will need assistance to carry my waste, can staff help me?

Due to social distancing measures, unfortunately site staff will be unable to provide any assistance with unloading or carrying material. Please ensure you only bring the amount of waste you can comfortably carry and empty into containers. Ideally only one person should exit the vehicle, but you may take a member of your household to help you handle a particularly heavy or bulky item if that item is posing a health risk.

I don’t have a car so I can only walk in waste, why is this not allowed?

The practice of pedestrians walking into HWRCs has always been discouraged and we would always politely advise that waste is not walked into any site. At this exceptional time, we ask that all customers use a vehicle to enter and exit the sites safely. This is to help ensure the safety of customers and staff, as no HWRCs in Hampshire have pedestrian access at the entrance which means those walking into a site would be amongst traffic. Signage is in place at the entrance of all sites to support this policy.

How many cars will you let in at a time?

A restricted number of vehicles will be permitted to access the site at any one time to ensure that social distancing is maintained and site staff will enforce this at the site entrance. The exact number will vary on a site to site basis depending on the size and layout of the sites.

Will I have to queue?

It is very likely that there will be queues and congestion to enter the HWRC due to the restricted capacity. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and ask that residents are patient.

When you say the sites will close at 4pm, will those who are still queuing at this time be allowed in?

As is the case for busy days in the summer or on bank holidays, site staff will implement a practical system that closes the queue at an appropriate point, and anyone joining the queue after that will be advised that they should return another day.

What measures are in place to control the traffic?

A member of site staff will be at the gate enforcing a ‘one in, one out’ policy, similar to that operated by supermarkets. The Waste and Resource Management team are working closely with PCC's Traffic and Network team identifying key roads and routes surrounding all sites and where possible temporary traffic management schemes to minimise the impact on other road users, businesses and residents nearby.

Do I need to handle my waste differently than usual?

We recommend that residents wear gloves for their own safety.

Where residents or members of their households have had COVID-19 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.

Why are the Reuse/Resale areas not opening at the HWRCs?

Due to restrictions in place to support social distancing, the Resale areas will remain closed. This will reduce the number of people on site, in line with government guidance on social distancing and speed up throughput so that queues and waiting times will be reduced. 

We politely ask that you continue to store your furniture items until the Resale areas reopen. If this is not possible, please contact your District Council to arrange a kerbside collection 

If the item is in good condition, residents are encouraged to pass it on to be reused rather than disposing of it. For more information on furniture reuse, visit Hampshire County Council’s Waste Prevention webpages

Why aren’t you running a booking system?

A booking type system has been considered, however it is not considered a practical solution for a number of reasons.  

The Portsmouth HWRC is employing a number plate system to limit visits in the first two weeks. Number plates ending in either odd or even numbers will be permitted access on different days.

Why didn’t you do this from the start instead of closing sites?

The HWRCs were temporarily closed at the end of March following the Government’s announcement that people should stay at home to protect the NHS and prevent the spread of Coronavirus, except for very limited, clear and specific reasons.

We have been working with our waste contractor on plans for when and how sites could re-open safely for disposal of waste. Layout changes have had to be made at all sites to accommodate this, and that has taken some time to practically implement.