A joint statement has been issued on behalf of the operators of the island’s four civic amenity sites in response to questions about whether they should be closed during the latest lockdown.
It reads: ‘The four civic amenity sites take very seriously the ongoing pandemic and have collectively worked together for the last year to ensure that we all have the safety of our staff and that of the public at the heart of any decisions made on the operation of the sites.
‘During the first lockdown in 2020, we recognised the importance of being closed during those initial first weeks (26th March -25th April) and agreed with the restrictions placed on us by Government. As Government started to amend those restrictions, we saw that we could work within them and sought to change the legislation to enable us to open.
‘Government issued guidelines with what would happen on island dependent on the infection rate and they also continue to use Guernsey as a comparative for us, so we have continued to work on that basis. Taking in to account the current spread rate of this “highly infectious Kent variant” and the number of cases surpassing recorded cases during lockdown 2020, we took the only decision available to us and that was to close the sites.
‘Government maintains that we are in lockdown, which according to their guidelines is level 4 however, they constantly refer to ‘Stay at Home’ which is level 3 and not to make any non-essential journeys. The Police are also asking people to ‘Stay Home’ and not put any additional pressure on the emergency services. The Bring Banks around the island have remained open during the last two lockdowns taking the pressure off the sites and the need for homes to stockpile their recycling.
‘Government have allowed the Construction Sector and Gardening business to remain in operation this time, both areas have alternative routes for disposal, none of which are the amenity sites. Just to clarify not all the sites are permitted to take commercial waste, but all four sites are permitted to take waste from small DIY projects. This does not include the likes of kitchen refurbishments.
‘All four sites have also been affected by the closure of the school hubs, family members being in contact with or in a location associated with an infection cluster and those having to shield due to ongoing health issues. We understand people’s frustration and confusion, but we continue to monitor the infection rates, and as soon as we are able too, we will open the gates again.’