Welcome to the Suffolk Recycling Centres booking page
You need to book a time slot in order to visit Suffolk's Recycling Centres
A booking system has been in place since the re-opening of Recycling Centres after closures during the first lockdown due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
In line with the government roadmap for the easing of Covid restrictions, Recycling Centres have moved to Phase 2 of the easing of rules and restrictions on sites. Sites are now back to their full capacity. The booking system, which has been warmly welcomed by residents remains in place.
This infographic summarises the changes that will be happening over the coming weeks.
The booking system :
- reduces the waiting times of visitors to each Recycling Centre
- helps manage traffic to avoid a dangerous build-up of vehicles on the roads
- allows site users to plan ahead and visit at an agreed time without having to queue
Please do not come to a Recycling Centre without a booking.
You must not visit a Recycling Centre if you or anyone in your household or support bubble:
- has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days
- has COVID-19 symptoms
Clincially vulnerable people should follow the latest governement advice.
How booking a time slot works
Bookings can be made up to 7 days in advance. To book a slot you will need to provide an email address, tell us whether you are bringing waste from your own household or from a business, the make and registration number of the vehicle you are arriving in or whether you are a pedestrian or cyclist.
Please do not arrive more than 5 minutes before the start of your scheduled time slot. We will try to ensure you enter the site at your designated time, however, please be aware some sites are required to close temporarily to empty containers.
If you are bringing your own household waste to site, you can make multiple bookings per week.
Business or trade customers are restricted to one visit per 7 day period.
We reserve the right to cancel any multiple bookings made in a 7 day period.
What are the rules at Recycling Centres?
- arrive in the vehicle you registered when booking (if driving).
- wash your hands before and after your visit (and wear gloves if possible)
- wear a face covering if possible (this is not a legal requirement, but is encouraged for your own safety and others)
- stay in your vehicle until you've parked (including passengers)
- more than one adult can unload but children must stay in the vehicle
- staff can assist if requested (face coverings need to be worn by visitor and staff in this instance)
- ensure any COVID-19 waste is left at home for 72 hours (3 days) before double-bagging and bringing to site
Before you book
Please be aware that until further notice:
- Only pre-booked vehicles are permitted on site
- Vans, cars with small trailers and business waste are now accepted at all sites (including Haverhill)
- Vans with trailers will not be allowed on any site
- Small Trailers must be no more than 750kg max gross weight, single axle and unbraked and should book a 15 min slot
- Large trailers (more than 750kg max gross weight, double axle or braked) are permitted on all sites except Haverhill and should book a 30 min slot
- You need to book a 30 minute slot to deposit waste using: a van (including car-derived vans), any vehicle carrying trade waste or a car with a large trailer.
Proceed to book a time slot
Please start by selecting the type of waste you will be bringing to site. If you have any queries, please read the Q&As below.
Appointment times refer to current British Summer Time. Please ignore references to UTC+0:00.
If you do not receive a booking confirmation email within 1 hour, please check your spam/ junk folder. If it is not there after checking, please do not make another booking. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will check it for you.
Answers to queries about phased re-opening:
The booking system will remain in place for the time being to manage customer demand and facilitate continuation of a controlled and safe recycling centre (RC) operation while visitor numbers are increased as Covid restrictions are reduced.
The booking system has demonstrated that managing customer throughput is an effective way of enabling the RCs to operate more efficiently, reducing congestion on sites on busy days, as well as reducing dangerous traffic queues and vehicle emissions from queuing cars at peak times.
Booking a slot enables residents to plan ahead to deposit their waste swiftly and easily. Many similar authorities now operate a similar system, while others are actively considering implementing one based on the success in areas like Suffolk.
A customer survey with 2,382 responses in March 2021 revealed 91% of booking system users were satisfied or very satisfied (with a further 4% being neutral) and 92% of customers had a problem-free experience when using the booking system. The top suggestion to improve the system was actually to keep the booking system in place when social distancing requirements cease.
Whilst the success of the vaccination programme has led to the removal of social distancing legislation as part of the Government Roadmap, keeping the booking system in place will also ensure that we will be able to rapidly respond and keep customers and staff safe should any further restrictions be needed in the future.
The council is committed to reviewing the system in late 2021.
We have now launched a new improved online booking system (link to the news article here). However, the old system was already taking bookings up to 7 days in advance. Therefore the week of 20-26 Sept will be a transition week as we switch from one system to the new one. We are sorry for any inconvenience during this time. From Monday 27 September the whole system will be using the new booking software and the old system will be removed.
If you're self-isolating you must place all personal waste (for example used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths) securely in a plastic bag or bin liner, then double bag it and store it for at least 72 hours (3 days) before placing it in general rubbish or bringing it to a Recycling Centre.
You must follow this guidance whether you are self-isolating as a precaution or if you've tested positive for (COVID 19).
Because site staff are handling waste throughout the day, there is a risk of cross contamination if they have to adjust or remove their face covering.
Therefore site staff are not required to wear face coverings, but may do so if they choose. Staff on sites would appreciate the cooperation of the public in the wearing of face coverings, due to the number of visitors on site each day.
Face coverings should be worn by both parties if asking for assistance from site staff.
Our recycling centres have to comply Health and Safety regulations and the removal of Covid-19 regulations is only part of the legislative framework our contractor are required to work under and adhere to. We have a duty to keep our staff and site users safe.
Yes, all sites accept garden waste.
If you would like to find out more about home composting or find out more about our subsidised home compost bin offers.
From 16 August sites will be back to full capacity with an even spread of appointments through the week.
The booking system helps to reduce the waiting times of visitors to site and helps manage traffic, to avoid a dangerous build-up of cars on the highway.
PLEASE DO NOT COME TO SITE WITHOUT A BOOKING
- can amend or cancel your booking up to 4 hours before your allocated time the day before your booking.
To amend or cancel your booking:
- Go to your original email confirmation
- Scroll to the bottom of the email
- Click on the 'Change your appointment' link
- From this you can either cancel or reschedule your booking. You can use the 'reschedule' button to change your vehicle registration details or book a new slot.
Email us at email@example.com and fill out the information required and we will check it for you.
If you have any problems amending or cancelling your booking or do not have your original email confirmation. We can amend this for you (but not within 4 hours of your booking).
Staff can now help members of the public to unload their vehicles or dispose of their waste when requested. Visitors and site staff are expected to wear face coverings when being assisted.
When staff unload your vehicle they will be wearing gloves and a face covering and we request that visitors inside the car also wear a face covering. Please make sure that any waste you bring to site is of a manageable size and weight for staff to handle.
If you have a disability and are still unsure about how to proceed to use the recycling centres please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sites may have to close temporarily if a container needs to be emptied or compacted, and you may have to wait a little longer to access the site.
In extreme weather conditions or in unforeseen circumstances, sites may have to close for a longer period. In this case you would need to rebook your appointment for another time. Please check www.twitter.com/suffolkrc for up to date information regarding site closures.
When you book you will enter the registration number of your vehicle. This will be your ID when you visit site, so you must come in the vehicle you registered.
Pedestrian visitors and cyclists will also have to use booking system and the booking will be in your name.
Booking slots are released on a 7 day rolling daily basis at around midnight.
Sites are now operating at full capacity, so you should be able to get a booking within a few days. You can book on the day of your visit up to 4 hours before the time slot if there is availability.
If you can’t get a booking try again the next day as more slots are released every day. Cancelled appointments may also be made available up to 4 hours before to other customers.
If you're unable to book a time slot online, please do not phone Customer Service to see if additional slots are available. The only time slots available will be shown on the public booking system.
Yes – as long as they have pre-booked through the online booking system.
Visitors bringing their own household waste to sites can now make multiple bookings per week.
Trade customers are restricted to one visit per 7 day period.
We reserve the right to cancel any multiple bookings by trade customers made in a 7 day period.
Please do not come to site more that 5 minutes before your time slot. This will help to reduce congestion on the highways.
Cars and cars with small trailers should unload within ten minutes if possible. Your booked 15 minute slot will allow for time to get in, parked and back out again.
Vans (including car derived vans), cars with large trailers and trade waste should unload within 25 mins. Your booked 30 minute slot will allow for time to enter and leave the site.
Cars with small trailers (up to 750kg, single axle and unbraked) are now allowed on all sites.
Cars with large trailers (over 750kg, double axle or braked) are allowed at all sites apart from Haverhill, due to site capacity.
Currently, vans with trailers (of any size) cannot be taken to any of Suffolk’s Recycling Centres. Vans with trailers typically have a larger footprint on site and can take longer to unload - which has the potential to affect other customer bookings.
As the Government’s Covid restrictions are eased, the Council is keen that normal service resumes in a gradual way, with least potential disruption to the majority of customers.
A vehicle that has rear seats and back windows and whose prime purpose is to carry passengers, is classed as a car. This includes camper vans and twin pick-ups, but does not include car derived vans.
All other vehicles are classed as vans and/or commercial vehicles. E.g. a single cab pick-up is classed as a van/commercial vehicle
Car derived vans will need to book as a van rather than a car. Car derived vans, vans and trailers are not accepted at Haverhill. You will need to book a slot at your next nearest site. (either Sudbury or Bury St Edmunds).
Vans with trailers are not allowed to book at any site, due to the time it takes for these vehicles to unload.
All sites are now accepting trade waste. You will need to declare that you are bringing trade waste to site when you make a booking.
Please be aware that it is an offence under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to deposit and transport trade/ business waste at Recycling Centres, without registering with the Environment Agency as a waste carrier and paying for disposal.
To get a more cost effective price you should separate your waste for recycling before going to site (e.g. into garden waste, wood, electricals etc).
If you are bringing chargeable household DIY waste to site, please let site staff know when you arrive and they will assess how much you have to pay. Payment will be made through a kiosk to maintain social distancing. Contactless card payment only.
Plasterboard is only accepted at 4 Recycling Centres; Bury, Foxhall, Lowestoft and Stowmarket
Normal opening hours apply – but you have to pre-book a time before you visit.
You can take the same materials as usual. See full list of materials accepted on our Recycling Centre rules & charges page.
Please sort your waste to speed up your visit and practise social distancing when moving between containers. Please also observe the waiting signs when accessing containers.
All re-use items from sites are sold through the two Re-use Shops at Bury St Edmunds and Foxhall Recycling Centres. The shops raise funds for the The Benjamin Foundation, who work with young people and families in need of support across Suffolk. You can visit the shops to donate or buy without an appointment, but you will not be able to enter the recycling centre.
You can donate items for re-use at all of Suffolk’s recycling centres in the orange re-use containers on site to support local charities.
They accept a range of items for re-use: TVs, monitors, PCs, Sky boxes, DVD players, consoles, laptops, audio equipment , power tools, bikes, Dysons, Henrys, mowers, strimmers, small furniture, books and toys as well as other good quality items.
Charities and schools please contact us in the usual way via email@example.com with details of the recycling they wish to bring to site.
Compost is available for sale on all sites for £2.50 per 25 litre bag. Please let site staff know on arrival and contactless card payment will be available at the kiosk.
Unfortunately, there has been an increase in fly tipping in Suffolk during the pandemic, as there have been in most parts of the country, whether or not they have a recycling centre booking system. The picture is varied across the county with some districts seeing hardly any increase and some seeing more incidents than others.
Sites are now back to 100% capacity, making it even easier to make a booking. If you're waiting to book a time slot for your visit, please hold on to your waste until a slot becomes available or you could try booking at another nearby site which may have availability. Most sites have good availability with Lowestoft, Haverhill and Stowmarket being the busiest sites.
There is never any justification for fly tipping. It is a criminal and anti-social offence that can result in prosecution.
if you are concerned about fly-tipping and how to prevent it find out more about our SCRAP campaign.
You can find out how to report fly-tipping on our Suffolk Recycling website.