I went to Perry Barr tip as the Recycling Centre reopened after more than two years and it started with a bang

The Perry Barr Household Recycling Centre has undergone a major upgrade since it was shut almost two-and-a-half years ago, and it celebrated its reopening with a bang. Our reporter was there to witness the first day of the new facility.

The Perry Barr Household Recycling Centre, which was closed for refurbishment in August 2021, reopened its doors to the public on Wednesday, January 31, 2024. 

The tip, run by Veolia on behalf of Birmingham City Council, has been upgraded with new facilities, signage, and layout all aimed at making recycling more convenient and safe for users. I had the opportunity of attending the grand reopening ceremony, where I saw Councillor Majid Mahmood, the cabinet member for environment at Birmingham City Council, cut the ribbon and officially open the centre. 

He was accompanied by representatives from Veolia and some council members, and we all wore PPE to follow the Covid-19 safety measures on site, as there was still some construction work going on at the other end.

Councillor Mahmood expressed his satisfaction and appreciation for the reopening of the centre: “This is great news for the residents of Perry Barr and I’d like to thank them for their patience during the redevelopment. Increasing the rate of recycling is a key part of the city’s net zero plans and this fully accessible centre will make it much easier for residents to recycle their unwanted items. Well done to everyone who made this possible.”

We all cheered and clapped for the occasion. As soon as the ribbon was cut, five keen visitors drove in with their vehicles full of recyclable items. They were welcomed by the councillor and the staff, who assisted them with sorting and unloading their materials. They also received a Veolia goody bag, which contained:

  • a measuring cup, to help them reduce food waste. 
  • a sealing clip, to keep their food fresh and avoid plastic bags.
  • a recycling wheel, to show them what products can be recycled.
  • a recycled cotton tote bag,  to carry their groceries and other items without using single-use bags.

The goody bags were a nice way to thank the visitors for their recycling efforts and to motivate them to recycle more at home. I stayed at the centre for an hour, observing the activity and chatting with some of the visitors. Despite the cold weather, they were all excited and pleased to be able to use the centre again. 

One of them told me: “I was waiting for this to open. I live about five minutes away, and I have so much to recycle. I have been storing some old furniture in my garage for months, and I was happy to finally get rid of them. The moment I knew it opened, I booked my slot and came as fast as I could.” Another one said: “The centre looks much better now. It’s more spacious and organised. The staff are very helpful and kind. They even helped me with a mattress.”

I noticed how clean and tidy the site was, as they were sorting out their waste. There were no overflowing bins or litter on the ground, thanks to the staff who were constantly monitoring and maintaining the site, even with some construction still happening on the other end.  They were also very helpful and knowledgeable, answering any questions and giving tips on how to recycle better. 

Councillor Majid Mahmood said: “It’s fantastic to see people coming in and for the people that live in this part of the city.  “We closed the site in August 2021, in order to make it larger and more accessible for residents to recycle more products. We have ambitions for net zero and increasing recycling in the city as part of that plan. 

“The Perry Barr Household Recycling Centre can handle up to 11,000 tonnes of waste per year, and aims to recycle at least 60% of it. This would save around 6,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to taking 1,400 cars off the road. 

“The centre is part of the city’s net zero plan, which aims to reduce the city’s carbon footprint by 90% by 2030. Recycling is one of the key actions that residents can take to help achieve this goal, as it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill and the energy used to produce new materials.”

By the time I left, I counted around 15 visitors who had used the centre. They all received goody bags and smiles from the staff. It was clear that the reopening of the Perry Barr Household Recycling Centre was a success, and that the residents of Birmingham were keen to do their part for the environment. 

To visit the HRC, residents must book slots using the online booking system. The opening hours for the HRC  at Holford Dr, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2TU will be in line with the winter opening hours of the four other recycling centres:

  • Monday-Friday 8am - 6pm
  • Saturday-Sunday 8am - 4:30pm

Members of the public are advised proof of ID will be required to gain entry to the HRC as checks will be made at the meet and greet point. A council tax bill, insurance documents or a utility bill will be acceptable forms of ID to prove residency in Birmingham

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