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By Michael Brown

Senior Staff Writer

23 July 2020

| | 2 min read


Newcastle recycling centre access to be determined by car number plates

Visitors to Newcastle’s recycling centres are to have days allocated according to their car number plates in an effort to cut queues.

Photo of Walbottle recycling centre with the text Number plates to determine recycling centre access

Since reopening on May 11 our three sites at Brunswick, Byker and Walbottle have seen high demand, with residents regularly waiting for an hour or more to dispose of their rubbish.

Now, from Monday August 3, while maintaining all the other new rules that are in place to ensure the safety of staff and the public, entry to the ‘tips’ will be linked to the date and the last number of your vehicle registration.

Cllr John-Paul Stephenson, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for environment and regulatory services, said: “The reopening of our recycling centres during the pandemic lockdown has been a success and we must thank both staff and the public for making it so.

“What we have done to maintain social distancing and keep everyone safe is working well, but we feel we are now in a position to make adjustments and hopefully cut what can still be long queues to access sites, improving the experience for residents.”

How the new entry system will work

To make the new system as easy as possible to understand cars with an odd last number – that is 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 – will be able to visit on odd numbered days, for example the 1st, 3rd, 11th or 27th of the month.

Residents with cars with even numbered plates – that’s those ending in 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 – can visit on even numbered days, eg the 2nd, 4th, 16th or 30th.

This system is already in place in neighbouring council areas and has seen the queues to enter HWRCs cut in half, saving visitors time and improving the flow of vehicles.

Other recycling centre rules remain

While changing when residents can visit recycling centres, all the other rules that were introduced to manage demand and enforce social distancing will remain in place.

These include:

  • All non-Newcastle residents will be turned away – Visitors will have to show both a passport or other photo ID and a recent council tax or utility bill to be allowed in. A photocard driving licence with address on is acceptable on its own.
  • Traffic management will be in place both outside and inside sites.
  • No large or commercial vehicles will be admitted and the WasteBot permit system is currently suspended.
  • Visitors should stay in their cars while waiting to enter.
  • The queue will be capped at one hour - If the queue to enter is already that long visitors may be asked to leave and return at another time.
  • Five unloading bays are available at Walbottle and Brunswick, with four at Byker. There will be additional waiting spaces within the sites at Walbottle and Byker to take vehicles off the highway.
  • All visitors must park in the bays provided and only unload when parked in the designated bays.
  • Only one person from the car will be allowed to unload waste and recycling on site.
  • A 10 minute time limit will be in place to dispose of waste.
  • Visitors must follow the walking routes indicated and, if a skip is in use, wait in one of the marked areas.
  • Staff will not be able to assist residents with heavy items or any unloading.
  • Sites will be closed for cleaning for 10 minutes each hour.
  • Last entry to HWRCs will be at 7.40pm.

For more information, including HWRC site information and opening times, please visit

Or alternatively, to arrange a paid for bulky waste collection please visit