EAST Lancashire's household waste tips will start reopening on Friday for booked appointments.

They have been closed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lancashire County Council's recycling centres in Altham, Barnoldswick, Burnley, Chorley, and Clitheroe will open on Friday.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough's two tips, one in each town, will open on Monday with the online and phone booking system going live tomorrow.

The county council reservation system is operational today but its quieter household waste recycling centres in Haslingden, and Longridge will remain closed.

To use all the tips residents will have to book a 30-minute slot in advance and observe social distancing.

The two borough sites - in Spring Vale Road, Darwen, and George Street West, Blackburn - will operate seven days a week with one day reserved for permit users only – those with vans and cars with trailers and people disposing of construction waste.

These will fall on the days the two sites usually close – Tuesday for Darwen and Wednesday for Blackburn.

The other six days will be ring-fenced for cars only.

Martin Eden, its environment director said: “We’ve been working hard to get the new booking system up and running.

“Due to the size of our two sites, we need the system in place to manage the number of residents visiting.

“The time slots will last for 30 minutes each.

“What would really help is if residents could separate their waste and recycling before they visit.

“We are asking people to wear gloves and follow the strict hand washing guidelines.”

Councillor Jim Smith, Blackburn with Darwen Council's executive member for the environment, added: “I would ask that residents are patient.

“We are expecting a huge demand on the booking system initially and it may take some time to be able to secure a slot.

“We are urging residents to only visit if they really need to and can’t safely store their waste at home.”

The county council is asking people to only bring one type of waste per visit. They can only visit by car, with a complete ban on all trailers and vans.

People will be limited to one visit per week.

Cllr Albert Atkinson, Lancashire County Council's waste management boss, said: "I'm very pleased that we'll be reopening our recycling centres this week.

"We expect that demand for appointments will be very high. I would ask people to only visit if they really need to and to be patient."

Blackburn with Darwen residents should book via blackburn.gov.uk or by phoning 01254 585585

For Lancashire County Council tips, visit lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/waste/ or call 0300 123 6781. People need to bring proof of address/residency to use the site