Household Waste Recycling Centres (Tidy tips) | Central Bedfordshire Council

Household Waste Recycling Centres (Tidy tips)

Tidy tips - book a slot to visit a tidy tip

From 11 May, Household Waste Recycling Centres (tidy tips) in Central Bedfordshire reopened on a restricted basis for all Central Bedfordshire residents.

This is not a return to normal service operation and the limited number of bookable slots are under heavy demand.

In order to ensure that we can operate our tidy tips safely and in line with social distancing rules, a booking system has been introduced. 

Only those who can evidence that they have secured a booking will be able to access the site

We are opening new slots on a daily basis, 10 days in advance. That means at 00:01 (one minute after midnight) on Wednesday, 28 October you can book for Saturday, 7 November. At 00:01 on Thursday, 29 October you can book for Sunday, 8 October etc.If a date shows available, you can book a slot for that day.

If a date shows not available, it means that either:

  • all slots are booked for that day, or
  • we have not opened bookings for that date yet i.e. it is longer than 10 days’ time

Other restrictions and conditions

  • only visit during your allocated time slot - please do not turn up early, especially before tip's open, as staff will require access to allow the site to open
  • you must book a slot to visit and will not be granted access without evidence that you have done so
  • do not make multiple bookings - site staff are checking all bookings and can turn away site users that have booked more than once within a 2 week period
  • if you or anyone in your household is in self-isolation or has symptoms of COVID-19, you must not visit the tidy tips under any circumstances
  • we can only accept one booking per household, bookings are not transferrable
  • only cars including MPVs and 4x4s, plus hobby trailer up to 1.2m x0.9m (excl. towbar) will be permitted on site
  • no vans will be permitted

If you have a disability

If you have a disability which means you are unable to unload your vehicle, please email customers@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk at least 2 working days in advance, providing your booking confirmation and full details of the type of waste that you wish to dispose of. We can then make the necessary arrangements for help to be provided during your visit.

Booking a slot

Book a tidy tip slot

Please bring your booking reference, ID and proof of address with you and only visit during your allocated time slot. Either make a note of the reference number, print off or have this available on the screen of your mobile phone when you arrive. You can show us this through your car window; you won't need to open your window, or be in contact with any member of staff.

The last bookable slot will be at 4:40pm each day. If you book the last slot of the day, you must leave by 5pm. Anyone who has not booked a slot, will not have access to the site.

Managing entry to the sites

The sites will operate on a ‘one in, one out’ basis, with a limited number of vehicles allowed within the site at any one time. Once in the facility you will be asked to follow identified pathways and queue, at a safe distance, to access each waste container.

Only cars including MPVs and 4x4s, plus hobby trailer up to 1.2m x0.9m (excl. towbar) will be permitted on site. No vans will be permitted. This is to ensure that unloading times are reduced as far as possible to allow the maximum number of visits per hour.

The sites will accept the usual materials, but this may be subject to change. Residents are advised to only bring loads that they can comfortably manage to dispose of by themselves as the site staff are unable to offer any physical assistance. 

We're reminding residents of the government advice, to protect workers and combat the spread of infection. Anyone who feels ill at home (whether diagnosed with COVID-19 or not) must not visit under the sites under any circumstances.

For your own and others safety only visit the tidy tip if your visit is essential. Please do your bit by:

  • storing your items for disposal/reuse at a later date
  • using your available kerbside waste and recycling service
  • making use of the kerbside bulky waste service (charges apply)
  • composting your garden waste at home

To keep turnaround times to a minimum please:

  • sort your waste into bags/boxes before visiting the centres
  • use your kerbside collection where possible
  • minimise the number of visits you make

During this period, we ask you to:

  • bring loads that you can comfortably manage by yourself. Only one person may exit their vehicle. If you have a heavy item then a second person is permitted out of your vehicle to provide assistance with that item only
  • only visit during your allocated time slot, but allow enough time to queue and unload your vehicle before the centre closes
  • wear appropriate clothing and footwear
  • wash your hands before and after visiting the centre; wear gloves if possible
  • keep children in the vehicle at all times
  • follow instructions given by the staff regarding where to place your waste; we will not tolerate abusive behaviour towards staff
  • remember that fly tipping (including outside of a tidy tip) is a crime

We’re complying with government guidance on essential journeys. Please be understanding as we operate sites. Current site operations are under review and may be subject to change if required or if guidance changes.

Frequently asked questions

When did Household Waste Recycling Centres (tidy tips) re-open?

All four of our tidy tips re-opened to residents for essential use on 11 May. They are open at the usual times of 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week. 

If you or anyone in your household is in self-isolation or has symptoms of COVID-19, you must not visit the tidy tips under any circumstances.

Our tidy tips have been laid out to ensure the social distancing rule can be followed. The sites will operate on a ‘one in, one out’ basis, with a limited number of vehicles allowed on site at any one time. Once on site you will be asked to follow identified pathways and queue, at a safe distance, to access each waste container. Additional cleaning procedures have been put in place. Residents are reminded to wash or sanitise their hands once they have visited the centre.

Will the sites be open as normal?

Residents will be required to book a slot in advance.

Timed slots are now available and further slots will be released just after midnight at 12:01am each day for the following week, 9 days ahead e.g. on Monday slots will be released for the following Wednesday, on Tuesday slots will be released for the following Thursday etc… The last bookable slot will be at 4:40pm each day. Anyone who has not booked a slot, will not have access to the site.

The number of vehicles permitted on site at any one time will be limited. We will be operating a ‘one in one out’ policy so you may have to queue to enter the site. The site layout has been changed to ensure 2 metres separation can be maintained at all times between members of the public and staff. The sites will accept the usual materials, but this may be subject to change.

Tidy tip booking system

Why do I have to book a slot?

It is important to restrict the number of vehicles and members of the public at each site to ensure social distancing can be practised. A booking system will reduce the amount of queuing and obstruction on roads. 

When can I book?

You can book online any time.

What happens when all the slots are gone?

More are being released each day for the following week, 10 days ahead i.e. on Tuesday, slots for the following Thursday will be released, on Wednesday slots for the following Friday will be released etc.

Is this system permanent?

Whilst we need to practise social distancing, there will be restrictions on site. We are reviewing the current system and may make changes if required.

Can I cancel my booking?

Yes, providing we receive at least 2 working days’ notice you may delete your booking via a link at the bottom of your confirmation email. If you require a different time slot you will need to complete another booking.

Can I change the car registration number?

Yes, providing we receive at least 2 working days’ notice you may amend the vehicle registration number via a link at the bottom of your confirmation email. If we receive a late notification it can’t be guaranteed that the amendment will be accommodated. Please note that bookings are not transferable between households.

I haven’t received the confirmation email. What should I do?

Please check it hasn’t gone into your junk mail folder. Make a note of your booking reference and bring this with you on your visit to show to site staff. If you don’t have your booking reference please contact us with as much detail of your booking as possible and we will try to help.

Access to sites

Who can use the tidy tips?

The sites are only open for residents of Central Bedfordshire to dispose of their own household waste. 

Can I use another council’s recycling sites if there are no slots available at Central Bedfordshire’s sites?

No, residents are only permitted to use sites in the area in which they live and pay Council Tax.

I have a right to access the sites. What authority do you have to deny me access?

We are following our duty to keep people safe when they use the sites, and this system put in place in the current circumstances enables us to do that. We must minimise the impact of queues on the surrounding area. 

What will happen when I turn up at tidy tips?

If you turn up at a tidy tip without a valid booking refence, ID and proof of address, you won't be allowed on site.

Will the tidy tip staff still help me unload heavy items from my car?

If you're disabled, yes. To get help unloading your items, please email customers@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk at least 2 working days in advance, providing your booking confirmation and full details of the type of waste that you wish to dispose of. We can then make the necessary arrangements for help to be provided during your visit.

If you're not disabled, no. Social distancing rules mean that site staff will not be able to help you unload your vehicle or carry waste. If it takes two people to load your car at home, you will need to ensure you can unload it at the tidy tip without staff assistance, with a maximum of 2 adults per car. Any abuse of violence towards a member of staff will not be tolerated and will result in the offender being asked to leave the site.

Why can’t you allow more vehicles on site to avoid long queues?

To maintain the social distancing rule we have had to set out our sites differently, and this means there is not enough space to safely accommodate more vehicles on site.

Why is the re-use centre at Thorn Turn tidy tip not open?

It is not possible to provide this service and maintain social distancing rules. Where possible, please store these items so they can be re-used at a later date.

Are you accepting commercial waste at Thorn Turn?

Yes, we are now able to accept commercial waste. You do not need to book a slot to visit. You can just turn up. There may be a queue to enter the site. Site staff will advise you of what to do when you arrive.

What else can I do with my waste?

For your own and others’ safety only visit if your visit is essential. Please help us by:

  • storing your items for disposal/reuse at a later date, such as large items of furniture, fridges, large electrical items, textiles
  • using your kerbside bins
  • making use of the kerbside bulky waste collection
  • composting your garden waste at home

If you are having a large clear out or are doing some home DIY during the coronavirus pandemic, hiring a skip or a third-party collection company to remove the waste might be a safer option. Please make sure it is a legitimate company with a waste carriers licence.

Did you look at other options? Why are other sites opening without booking?

Each council has carried out is own assessment specific to its local area and chosen a system that best suits their circumstances. This may vary in different areas or at different sites. 

Tidy tip signage

Thank you for your cooperation at this challenging time.