South Tyneside's Recycling Village is set to revert back to its usual winter opening hours.
From Monday (11 January), the Recycling Village on Middlefields Industrial Estate in South Shields will be open seven days a week from 9am to 6pm.
While the site remains open under the Government's latest national restrictions, strict measures remain in place. People are also asked to visit only if their journey is essential and stay at home as much as possible to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
Pick-ups and cars with trailers can continue to use the site with a Household Waste Permit. However, due to the time changes, vans will now be restricted to visiting between 9.30am to 11am only. The 'Even Plate, Even Date / Odd Plate, Odd Date' system will also remain in place.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "Over the summer months, the Recycling Village had been open from 8am to 8pm, helping people to deal with a backlog of waste and recycling that had built up while the site was closed during the first national lockdown. We then decided to keep the site open from 8am to help manage public demand, particularly due to space limitations and restrictions on the materials and vehicles that were accepted at that time.
"However, now that we're through the busy Christmas period, most vehicles and materials are permitted back on site and visitor numbers have reduced, we are changing back to the opening hours that we tend to operate over the winter months."
The Recycling Village will be open everyday from 9am to 6pm. Before visiting, residents are encouraged to observe the restrictions in place, particularly around social distancing and the dates and times they are permitted to visit. Visitors are also urged to separate materials beforehand to reduce time on site.
Councillor Gibson added: "We would like to thank the public for their support over what has been a very challenging 2020. Despite the restrictions in place, they have shown great patience and understanding while still supporting our recycling efforts. During December through to New Year alone, we collected 60 tonnes of cardboard on site and this is fantastic.
"However, now that we are all subject to new Tier 5 national lockdown restrictions once again, we would urge people to make only essential journeys to support the Government's call for people to stay at home as much as possible.
"If people must visit, then it is extremely important they follow the guidance to help slow the spread of coronavirus. We continue to work hard to ensure the restrictions are observed for the safety of both staff and visitors and that the site continues to run as safely and efficiently as possible."
As the Recycling Village is for personal use only, free Household Waste Permits are issued for the disposal of household waste using certain vehicles. Residents can have up to 12 permits a year.
The Middlefields Waste Transfer Station is available for businesses and tradespeople and the disposal of commercial waste.
For further information about visiting the Recycling Village, including full details of the restrictions in place and vehicles permitted, visit the Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/waste