Household Waste & Recycling Centre (HWRC) Security Monitoring

Farsight CCTV Monitoring at HWRC


Most businesses and organisations across the UK are acutely aware of the threats posed by unauthorised trespass to their premises and fire whether caused accidentally or by arsonists.  Security is a major concern, whatever sector they operate within – whether commercial, industrial, agricultural, retail or public sector services. Household Waste and Recycling Centres across the UK are particularly at risk from security breaches which have continued to make the news in 2021.

As Europe’s largest purpose-built alarm & CCTV monitoring station, Farsight is a trusted first line of defence – helping to reduce security risks for thousands of organisations around the UK every day. In 2021 Farsight’s remote alarm & CCTV operators have responded to over 40 incidents made up of both intruder and fire alarm activations at HWRC sites that we monitor.

Alarm and CCTV remote monitoring services  are an essential line of defence for HWRCs,  ensuring experienced remote security operators are monitoring the sites for unauthorised or dangerous activity outside of opening hours. Fire and intrusion incidents can be observed via our cutting-edge cloud-based CCTV monitoring systems, auditory warnings can be issued and relevant emergency services responders and keyholders are called in. In these situations, every second counts.

At Farsight our highly trained CCTV operators are trusted by our clients to respond to thousands of alarms every single day covering the whole of the UK – providing a crucial service in reducing the risks of trespass which can result in theft, criminal damage and even fire.

In the News: HWRC security incidents

Household Waste & Recycling Centres across the UK appear to be an attractive target for intruders as well as being vulnerable to fires. This is echoed across the media with a raft of news reports from every corner of the UK that show alarming numbers of incidents that are causing concern to not only LCCs and their Contractors but also to the very communities that they serve, as these example news articles illustrate:

2021 HWRC Security Incidents reported

Numerous fires have hit recycling sites in England, Scotland & Northern Ireland in 2021, these include:

Fire crews race to major blaze at Perth electrical waste recycling centre  – cause of fire unknown – The Scottish Sun, April 2021

Telford recycling plant fire ‘a disaster’ for the town – cause under investigation – BBC

Blaze at Freedom Recycling centre in Hockwold cum Wilton sparks massive emergency services response – Suffolk News, June 2021

Fire at Belfast recycling plant ‘started deliberately’ – Belfast Telegraph, June 2021

Richmond fire: 70 firefighters battle blaze as 100 tonnes of waste burns – suspected arson-  Get Surrey, June 2021

It’s not only fires, whether started accidentally or by arsonist that threaten HWRC security, intruders and thieves also continue to target these sites across the country:

Crook stole metal worth thousands form Stanford-le-Hope recycling centre after cutting through fencing – Echo News, March 2021

Burglary at Ammansford metal recycling centre – Wales Online June 2021

Arrest after suspected burglary at Bluntisham recycling centre – Cambridge News, August 2021

2020 HWRC Security Incidents reported

Thieves and vandals target recycling centres across Perthshire – The Courier
Recycling centre in the Rhondda set to close after being blighted by vandalism and theft – Wales Online
Two men arrested at Helensburgh Recycling Centre – Helensburgh Advertiser
Residents say burglars are ‘taking whatever they like’ from recycling centre – The Hunts Post
Man arrested over alleged battery burglary from recycling centre – Peterborough Telegraph
Undercover police target thieves after repeated raids on recycling centre – Cambridgeshire Live

But why are Household Waste & Recycling Centres being targeted by thieves and vandals and what security measures can minimise the risks to HWRC site security? In this article we take a closer look at the Civic Amenity Site sector and explore the benefits of CCTV monitoring as a crucial part of improving site security.

Why are Household Waste & Recycling Centres being targeted by thieves & vandals?

For most Local Authorities across the UK, recycling continues to be a key priority. In recent years Councils have invested heavily in Household Waste and Recycling Centres also known as Civic Amenity (CA) Sites. These facilities are designed to dispose of and recycle a wide stream of materials that are not currently collected within domestic waste bins.

Some of these materials have become valuable and particularly attractive to thieves – these can include copper wire, scrap metal, batteries and Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). HWRC process over 500,000 tonnes a year of these alone according to guidelines published in Wrap’s Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) Guide

However, it is not only theft that is blighting these sites; they are also vulnerable to criminal damage and vandalism such as skip fires leading to health & safety issues and even site closures.

How many HWRCs are there in the UK?

You may be surprised just how may HWRC sites there actually  are in the UK. The 2004 National Assessment of Civic Amenities (NACA) published guidelines suggest that there should be at least one site per 143,750 residents or within 20 minutes drivetime in urban areas / 30 minutes in rural areas for the majority of residents within a local authority area.

Figures from Wrap’s Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) Guide suggest that there are 734 in England, 176 in Scotland, 95 in Northern Ireland and 60 in Wales.

What are the current HWRC security guidelines?

As well as securing sites against unwanted commercial waste inputs, security may be required to deter other forms of abuse such as vandalism, out-of-hours fly-tipping, arson attacks and theft. The Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) Guide defines the following as priorities to consider:

1. Perimeter fencing – Most sites will have some perimeter fencing. The type of fencing needed will depend on the level of deterrent required, but it should be robust enough to ensure persistent offenders cannot gain access.

2. Cameras, floodlighting and alarms – CCTV can be an effective deterrent and if not, it will hopefully result in sufficient evidence to prosecute offenders. If CCTV is used, there should be enough lighting to ensure that the cameras can detect individuals and vehicles.

In areas where break-ins are common, real-time monitoring of CCTV resulting in a rapid response should deter offenders. This can be linked to a loudhailer system so that offenders can be addressed and scared off.

Floodlighting may deter casual offenders. However, if sites are in industrial or rural areas where they are not overlooked, floodlighting may make it easier for offenders instead of acting as a deterrent. Intruder alarms with automatic sensors on site perimeters can alert security staff or the police.

3. Staff Security staff during opening hours or at night can be a useful deterrent but if they cannot respond to incidents and backup is not forthcoming, offenders soon learn that staff will not challenge them, and they will continue to offend. Security staff can be threatened, as can site staff, and therefore their safety needs to be considered.

What is remote CCTV monitoring and how can it improve HWRC security?

When a HWRC chooses remote monitoring services from Farsight, it can rest assured that highly trained security professionals are vigilantly keeping watch, keeping your site safe.
With real-time alerts, our security operators, working from the Farsight Observatory, can remotely monitor the site’s CCTV systems when it counts – whether that’s 24/7 around the clock monitoring, during unstaffed periods overnight or at a time that suits specific requirements.

Our professional security operators can remotely monitor HWRC alarm systems and site CCTV, responding to alerts of intruders, fire and/or remote access control systems. On an alert, our operators will immediately react to confirm the cause of the alarm and identification of any suspicious activity before notifying the site’s preferred contact (a designated keyholder) and the necessary emergency services department.

Watch our video to find out more about remote CCTV monitoring

The benefits of remote CCTV monitoring for HWRC security:

• A team of highly trained security professionals monitoring your HWRC
• Live audio announcements that usually deter intruders from entering the site
• Remote monitoring can support all HWRC security systems including CCTV, intruder and fire alarm systems and access control, depending on requirements
• Our remote monitoring operators visually verify incidents and escalate to emergency response teams, ensuring a more rapid response
• Potential reduction on insurance premium costs
• Prevent downtime and interruptions to work from thieves and vandals
• Market leading remote monitoring and client support package – SureSight

By choosing Farsight Security Services every Household Waste & Recycling Centre that we work with benefits from our accredited remote monitoring station’s rapid response times, industry-leading standards, market leading client fault reporting and client communication platform (YourSight) and our experience in monitoring CCTV and alarm systems within this sector.


Farsight will provide comprehensive advice on protecting your HWRC, including identifying problem areas, raising awareness to security weaknesses and suggestions for security camera installation. You can also find detailed guides within our blog for ensuring you get the most out of your security camera systems;

– Where to Position CCTV Cameras in Your Business

If you would like to discuss your HWRC security requirements with Farsight, talk to our experienced team today. Call us on 0845 371 0101 or email us via our online contact form below: 


Addition Resources: Monitored Thermal CCTV

Thermal CCTV Camera Monitoring

Thermal camera imaging has been in the spotlight recently in relation to ‘elevated temperature screening‘ amid the Covid-19 pandemic.  But of course, it’s applications go far beyond just that.

Thermal CCTV cameras are used across many industry sectors, from utilities,  refineries, substations, solar farms, airports, railways, manufacturing facilities and even data centres to not only compliment their physical security defences, but also to provide predictive maintenance and business critical analytics that play a role in their operational efficiencies. These include being able to monitor HVAC systems, equipment, power lines and machinery etc.  Importantly, these cameras are increasingly being used to enhance fire safety controls too.

An example of the effectiveness of a thermal CCTV camera system being remotely monitored by Farsight can be seen in our article below:

Farsight Thermal Camera Monitoring Case Study