ANYONE wanting to get rid of their household rubbish will now have longer to do so as the opening times of recycling centres across the borough will be extended throughout March.

The centres will be open longer to help reduce queueing and the impact on residents that live nearby.

Coun Chris Lamb, cabinet spokesperson for environment and transport said: “We’re seeing much longer queues at these sites due to Covid-19 restrictions, including the number of vehicles allowed to unload at each site being reduced, and only one person being allowed to use each ramp and skip at a time.

“On request from South Yorkshire Police, we’ve had to take the difficult decision to close the sites temporarily whenever the queueing space on site is full, because police will not allow queues to back up onto main roads. Where this has happened, staff have been subjected to verbal and physical abuse, which is not acceptable under any circumstances.

“To ease the strain, we’re now opening the sites for slightly longer. All four sites will be open until up to 5pm, and this will continue until the end of March when they are due to switch to summer opening hours. However, residents are reminded that they should only visit the sites when it is essential. “Residents should also note that we may need to close gates earlier if the queue is full in the run-up to closing time.

“We thank the vast majority of residents for their patience and understanding through this difficult period.”

Neighbourhoods inspector, Rebecca Richardson, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “We recognise that people are spending more time at home and perhaps generating more waste than normal, either through doing home improvements, gardening, or just by being at home.

“Road safety is our priority and we have requested that the council close the sites whenever queues cannot be contained within the sites. Anyone visiting the sites should follow any signs or guidance from staff on the site and should refrain from queuing on the highway.

“I know it is frustrating to visit a site only to find it is closed, but verbal and physical abuse is simply not acceptable.”