EAST Lancashire's household waste tips will start reopening next week.

But residents will need to book an appointment before visiting.

Lancashire County Council will be reopening its household waste recycling centres later next week with Blackburn with Darwen due to follow suit on Monday May 18.

The two local authorities' waste teams are currently working to reconfigure the sites so they can operate while maintaining social distancing.

The county council will announce details next week of exactly when the sites will reopen, and how the booking system will work at its 16 county council-run centres including those in Altham, Barnoldswick, Burnley, Clitheroe, Haslingden and Longridge.

Most are expected to be back in operation by Friday, May 15, with Blackburn with Darwen's two centres - in Spring Vale Road, Darwen, and George Street West. Blackburn - allowing the public in the following Monday.

Not all county sites are expected to reopen at the same time, to allow staff to monitor usage levels and the effectiveness of arrangements to ensure social distancing.

New measures to govern their use will include having to book a timeslot to visit the sites – by phone or online – along with temporary restrictions on the types of rubbish which will be accepted.

Blackburn with Darwen's sites will be open seven days a week instead of the six before the Covid-19 lockdown.

Borough environment boss Cllr Jim Smith said: "We hope to reopen our two household waste recycling centres on Monday May 18.

"But there will be a reduced service and residents will have to book in advance to use them.

"The council has been keen to reopen the sites as soon as was possible, safe and with proper social distancing in place.

"They will be open seven days a week instead of the usual six to get more people through."

His county council counterpart Cllr Albert Atkinson, said: "Our recycling centres will be reopening next week, but there will be significant changes to how they usually operate.

"The biggest will be that people will need to book a timeslot before visiting, either online or by calling our customer service centre.

"This will be necessary to manage demand, ensuring that people can visit during a specified timeslot without having to queue for hours.

"We'll be placing some restrictions on the type of waste people can bring with them and on the type of vehicle they can use. The usual permit system which allows people to use vans and trailers will not be operating."