Recycling services in the Western Bay will resume gradually to full service as the Covid-19 alert transitions through level 2, but only Katikati and Te Puke centres will operate during level 2.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council Utilities Manager Kelvin Hill acknowledged there was some frustration that full recycling services had not been reinstated but said the health and safety of the public and staff must take priority.

In the gradual resumption to normal services over the next two weeks, Katikati Recycle Centre will open on Thursday May 14 and Saturday May 16 from 9am to 4pm, closing for lunch from 12pm to 1pm each day.

Access at the Katikati Centre is from Wills Rd.

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Te Puke Recycle Centre will open for two days the following week on Thursday May 21 and Saturday May 23, on the same basis as Katikati from 9am until 4pm with a one-hour closure from noon until 1pm.

Access to the Te Puke Centre is from Station Rd.

Both centres will have the same operating layout as during the previous three-day opening period.

Outside of these dates the recycling centres will be closed until further information is provided by the government and the council.

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Hill said the council would be arranging additional opening days in the coming weeks to help ease the backlog of both plastic and other recycling products, including greenwaste, that people were anxious to get rid of.

People will be able to put their recycling directly into bins that will be beside where they park. This layout allows for minimal movement for customers and ensures physical distance is maintained.

The council will only accept the following under level 2:

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- flattened cardboard
- glass bottles and jars
-paper
-tin and aluminium cans

Please be aware of the following entry requirements to the recycling centres:
-no pets in cars
-one person per car. (Exception being solo parents with children who are strapped in the car seats and elderly people)
-no trailers
- NO plastics will be accepted
- NO greenwaste will be accepted

- If weather conditions are too bad on the planned opening days, the centres will not open, so that the safety of staff and public is ensured. Notification will be given.

There have been inquiries as to why the recycle centre in Athenree and the Ōmokoroa greenwaste facility remain closed.

Hill said these centres would only re-open when the council could meet all the requirements imposed under the respective alert levels.

"Council is using a staged approach to move its centres back to full functionality. We are giving residents in the western side of the District (Katikati) and eastern side of the District (Te Puke) the ability to recycle a limited range of products for the next two weeks. We regret that this may cause inconvenience to residents in other areas.

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"We have made this decision to reduce the health risks posed by opening centres. Council must safeguard the health of the public and staff when opening its services," he said.

Hill said the public responded well to the opening of the two centres during Level Three and everything went smoothly. Katikati had 1200 vehicles through the centre and Te Puke had 1095.

"We were pleased to be able to offer at least some relief for people who had been stockpiling their recycle products for so long. The numbers speak for themselves. We thank everyone for their cooperation and gratitude during those three-day openings."

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