RUBBISH tips in Hampshire are set to re-open this month.

Hampshire County Council has confirmed it is working on preparations to re-open Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCS) in the week commencing May 11.

The council said the date is subject to further guidance expected from the government next week on travel to recycling centres during the coronavius outbreak.

But it warned that a number of safety measures will be in place.

As reported, rubbish tips across the county were shut in March in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Now councillor Rob Humby, executive member for economy, transport and environment at the county council, said: “We have been working on plans to reopen our sites for people to use where it is essential they do so because they cannot store their waste without causing a risk of injury, health or harm.”

He said that safety measures in place will mean “things will be very different”.

He added: “I would ask people to be patient. Rather like supermarkets, social distancing measures will apply, limiting the number of people allowed in at any one time and operating reduced opening hours so the sites can be thoroughly cleaned each day.

"I can also confirm that in view of the current circumstances we will not be enforcing the number plate recognition provisions during this period but allow more time for Hampshire residents to register their car registrations.”

The news comes as earlier this year residents were asked to register their number plate as non-Hampshire residents who would want to use the county’s recycling centres are going to be charged £5.

Earlier this week county bosses were urged to reopen waste facilities to avoid fly tipping.

On Tuesday night Robert Jenrick, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, asked councils to “safely plan” the opening of recycling centres in line with social distancing guidelines.

And on Wednesday night, Andrew Joy, county councillor for Alton Town and executive member for communities, confirmed plans were in place to reopen tips within a fortnight in his report to Alton Town Council.

He added the reversal of tip closures had been "held up" by government guidance, as journeys to community recycling centres are not currently deemed "essential travel" and tip visitors could therefore be turned away by the police.

This is likely to change "imminently" though, Mr Joy added, with Hampshire County Council working in partnership with waste contractor Veolia to loosen up restrictions.

He said this process is expected to take "a couple of weeks to sort out", but warned only "selected centres" would reopen.