Council confirms details for Household Waste Recycling Centres to reopen

Post in Community Care by Lucy Beattie
The Highland Council can now confirm which of the Household Waste Recycling Centres across the region will re-open from Monday 1st June 2020.

The Highland Council has now confirmed which of the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) across the region will re-open from Monday 1st June 2020.  A phased approach to re-opening the sites will be adopted with strict controls in place to help manage social distancing and to ensure the anticipated high number of visitors and volume of waste can be handled safely and efficiently.

In the initial phase the sites are open for essential waste disposal only and householders are advised that journeys to a HWRC must only be undertaken if their waste cannot be stored at home safely, i.e the waste cannot be stored without causing risk of injury, or harm to health.

The following sites that are re-opening from 1 June will be operating with revised opening hours.

They are: Alness, Aviemore; Brora; Dingwall, Fort William; Gairloch: Inverness; Lochinver; Nairn; Tain; Tongue; Thurso; Ullapool and Wick.

Ross -shire


Monday – Friday 09:00-15:30 (closed for lunch 12:00 -13:00)



Monday – Friday 09:00-15:30 (closed for lunch 12:00 -13:00)



Monday – Friday 09:00-13:00



Monday – Friday 09:00-15:30 (closed for lunch 12:00 -13:00)



Monday – Friday 09:00-13:00


Householders are urged to visit the Council’s website before they travel to one of these sites to check it will be open as planned and to find out what restrictions are in place.  Further guidance on what to expect when visiting a HWRC is detailed in our Frequently Asked Questions, also available on the website.

The first phase will see only cars being permitted access to the sites and the materials accepted will be restricted to bagged household waste and garden waste.  To cut down on time spent at the site, householders should bring garden waste in bags and empty the contents into the containers.

The reason for the restrictions on vehicles and materials is to reduce the time spent at the sites by individuals, so that as many as people as possible can pass through the sites quickly and safely, enabling traffic to flow more freely. Only one person will be permitted to leave their vehicle to dispose of their waste.  Site staff are unable to assist with handling waste; therefore, householders should only bring waste they can carry and empty into the containers.

Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of Communities and Places, said: “I am pleased that we are now in a position to confirm that 14 of the HWRC are able to re-open from next Monday.  Last week, The Scottish Government updated COVID-19 restrictions, permitting HWRC across the country to be re-opened from 1st June 2020, if safe to do so. The Council’s Waste Team have been working hard to ensure that as many of the 20 sites across the Highland region can open from this date. However, we need to be clear that sites can only re-open when we have adequate staffing in place and it is safe to do so.”

He continued “Over the coming weeks, once we are satisfied that the amount of waste and visitor numbers using the sites are at safe and manageable levels, we will move to Phase 2, which will see more types of waste being introduced to the list of items that are accepted.  It is vitally important that householders check the new guidance about using a HWRC on our website and in the local press before they set off or risk being turned away.”

Traffic management systems will be in operation in the surrounding area of a HWRC.  Staff will be in place at the entrance to each site to speak with visitors and advise on waiting times and procedures on site. If a queue is too large, some vehicles may be turned away and asked to return later.  

To help reduce the spread of the of Coronavirus site staff will be adopting robust hygiene standards.  Householders should wash their hands before and after visiting a HWRC.  Please also observe social distancing and stay 2 metres apart from staff and other site users when at a HWRC. Householders are reminded not to visit the site if they are showing symptoms of Coronavirus. Strictly no commercial waste or recycling will be accepted.

Further information can be found by visiting: or email