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Service updates between Christmas and the new year

Christmas and the new year are right around the corner, which means there will be service changes to normal council opening hours. You’ll find all the information you may need over the next couple of weeks as we work to ensure our communities are supported at this time.

Children and Family Centres

Children and Family Centres will be closed from 5pm on 23 December 2022 and will reopen at 9am on 3 January 2023. The centres will be open 9am - 5pm from now until 6 January.

Christmas bin collections and tree recycling

Over the holiday period there will be changes to your normal rubbish, recycling, food and garden waste collection arrangements.

There will be a collection for the recycling of real Christmas trees from Monday 9 January to Friday 19 January 2023. 

Check your waste and Christmas tree collection times.

Reuse and Recycling Centre (RRC)

The Reuse and Recycling Centre (RRC) is closed on Christmas Day (25 December)

Opening times will be 9am – 4pm on the following days

  • Boxing Day,
  • 27 December
  • New Year’s Day
  • 2 January 2023

Housing Options and homelessness

The Housing Options Service is closed from 4pm on 23 December 2022 to 2 January 2023.

Emergencies during the Bank Holidays, weekends and evenings will be covered within the council’s out of hours arrangements by calling 020 7364 4079.

From 28 December 2022 – 30 December 2022, between 11am and 4pm, people requiring an emergency homeless service should be advised to go to:

  • Idea Store Chrisp Street
    1 Vesey Path
    East India Dock Road
    E14 6BT

  • Idea Store Whitechapel
    321 Whitechapel Road
    E1 1BU

Staff will be able to contact Housing Options staff by phone.

Idea store and contact centre

All Idea Stores and Libraries

  • Saturday 24 December: 9am-1pm
  • Sunday 25 December: CLOSED
  • Monday 26 December: CLOSED
  • Tuesday 27 December: CLOSED

From 28 – 30 December 2022, between 11am and 4pm, two Idea Stores will be open as follows:

  • Idea Store Chrisp Street
    1 Vesey Path
    East India Dock Road
    E14 6BT

  • Idea Store Whitechapel
    321 Whitechapel Road
    E1 1BU

The Local History Library and Archives Service will close from 5pm on 22 December and reopen on Tuesday 3 January.

Idea Store Bow, Idea Store Canary Wharf, Bethnal Green Library and Cubitt Town Library CLOSED from Sunday 25 December to Monday 2 January 2023 included. All sites back to normal hours on Tuesday 3 January 2023.


Contact centre

The Customer Contact Centre, Covid Helpline and the Residents’ Hub will be closed from 5pm on Friday 23 December 2022 and will reopen at 9am on Tuesday 3 January 2023. For emergencies which may cause damage to persons or property outside of these hours please contact the Out of Hours Service on 020 7364 7070.


Parking enforcement by Tower Hamlets is relaxed on national bank holidays but please park responsibly.

Personalised disabled bays and all other restrictions are enforced, including but not limited to all types of yellow lines, dropped kerbs and footway parking.


Tower Hamlets has over 120 parks and open spaces for you to visit and enjoy over the holiday period.

Register office

 The Register office is open the festive period but with a reduced service. Please visit our opening hours and access page for details.

Severe weather

Our highways and street cleaning team will be on duty through the holidays to keep roads and pavements clear and safe.

We have two spreading vehicles, a mechanical loader and more than 2,000 tons of salt at our winter service depot.

As temperatures continue to drop, there are a few things you can do to benefit your health and home over the winter months. Find more information on staying warm on our winter wellness page.

Posted on Friday 16th December 2022