London’s local household tips and recycling centres have been closed during lockdown in response to official guidance to limit non-essential journeys. However as the rules start to change, London’s councils are making plans to start re-opening household tips and recycling centres from Monday 11 May where they can. Not all sites will open at the same time, and those that do will not be operating at full capacity.


- Please don't go to the tip unless you absolutely need to. Capacity will be limited so let’s make sure those who really need to use it can do so.

- Please keep using your council recycling and rubbish collections for as many materials as possible. If you can, store any other materials at home before making unnecessary trips to the tip. If you have lots of clothes and knick knacks you don't want any more, set them aside for when charity shops re-open. Charities have taken a huge knock due to COVID-19 and will be really grateful for donations!

- Check locally before making a visit to your local tip. Each borough – and each individual tip – may have different opening hours and restrictions on how much (and what kind of) waste you can bring, or the number of visitors allowed onto site at any one time.


- Lots of people will be waiting to use the waste and recycling centre so expect queues, be organised and unload quickly once you’re there.

- Access to waste and recycling centres will be controlled and some sites may operate time- slots or other booking systems – so check locally and avoid peak times (such as weekends).

- You may have to prove you’re allowed to use your local tip, which usually means showing identification or a borough permit. Please check what your council needs before travelling.


- To help prevent the spread of infection, keep your windows shut while you’re queuing and once you’re inside the site, to help prevent the spread of disease.

- Keep at least 2m distance from staff and other visitors whilst on-site. Social distancing measures will be in place to protect the health of visitors as well as staff working there.

- Keep the number of people with you to a minimum, and don’t allow children to leave the car. Social distancing is essential if we’re going to keep waste and recycling centres open.

- Hygiene is essential when visiting the tip, so wear gloves and masks if you can, avoid touching your face and wash your hands thoroughly when you get home.

- Take gloves and masks home and throw them in your bin (not your recycling). Gloves and masks can't be recycled, and don't just pose health and safety risks for waste crews but can lead to entire loads (we're talking tonnes) of recycling being rejected and sent to incineration or landfill instead. Staff will be keeping things as hygienic as possible, but it’s up to all of us to play our part.


- Respect the staff – they're doing an important job in difficult circumstances, so treat them with consideration. Anyone abusing staff will be asked to leave the site immediately.

- Staff may not be able to help residents unload their cars so please be patient and recognise that staff will prioritise helping those who are unable to do it themselves.

For more COVID-19 related recycling and rubbish information, check here.

tip and recycling centre operational photo