Recycling centres in Devon could soon reopen following their initial closure following the coronavirus pandemic.

All Household Waste Recycling Centres in the county – including five in North Devon and Torridge – were closed on March 24 after the Government announced lockdown restrictions.

Devon County Council has now said it is looking to reopen Household Waste Recycling Centres, as soon as it is safe to do so and Government guidance permits.

But until that time, the council is urging residents to avoid having a spring declutter or undertake home improvements that may create extra waste.

Cllr Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for infrastructure, development and waste, said: “It’s understandable that people have more time on their hands and want to keep busy, but it does push extra waste onto already stretched services, especially as recycling centres remain closed.

“We are looking to re-open these facilities as soon as it is safe and government guidance allows.

“Until that time I ask that people to please be patient and store excess waste or wait until restrictions are lifted. It would help keep collection services running smoothly.”

Cllr Davis added: “It’s easy to generate more waste and recycling while we’re at home and it’s great to see that most people a continuing to recycle as much as possible and keep waste to manageable levels under difficult circumstances.

“I want to thank everyone for doing their bit and for supporting the crews as they continue the important task of collecting our rubbish and recycling.”

Collection crews across Devon say they have been delighted with the level of public support shown to them in recent weeks, including pictures and thank you notes left on bins and outbreaks of spontaneous doorstep applause from appreciative residents.

To help households and collection crews keep on top of waste and recycling, residents are encouraged to consider the following advice:

Your bin may be collected earlier or later than usual due to collection round changes. Find out what time your bin should go out hereto avoid a missed collection.

• If your car is parked on the street, make sure there is room for a collection vehicle (or emergency service vehicle) to pass.

• Keep hold of clean and wearable textiles and shoes until restrictions are lifted, when charities will urgently need your donations.

• Wash, squash and flatten your recyclables to increase the capacity of your recycling bin, box or bag.

• Start home composting your uncooked food, peelings and garden waste. Buy a compost bin or build your own from pallets. Alternatively, leave grass cuttings on the lawn to return nutrients to the soil.

• Think about your food waste. Find recipes to effectively use up ingredients.

• Residents showing COVID 19 symptoms are advised to store recyclables for 72 hours before placing in the regular recycling container. Any personal waste, such as tissues, need to be double bagged and then stored for 72 hours before being placed in the residual waste bin.

For more information about what to do with your waste and recycling during the Coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic, visit Recycle Devon’s website.