EFDC Services over Christmas & New Year



The Council’s contact centre is closed from 5pm Friday 22 December until 9am Tuesday 2 January 2024. The community hub, based at the Civic Offices in Epping will also be closed during this time, so drop-in services will not be available.

The Limes Centre, Chigwell closes at 5pm on Friday 22 December and reopens at 9am on Tuesday 2 January 2024.

Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey closes at 4pm on Wednesday 20 December and reopens at 10am on Tuesday 2 January 2024.

Out-of-hours emergency

Council tenants should contact Qualis Property Solutions for the out-of-hours emergency repairs service, where there is a risk to you and your family, or danger to the property.

  • Call 0333 230 0464

The Council out-of-hours telephone number is: 01992 564000.


Make a payment online or over the phone, using our 24-hour automated telephone payment service:

allpay cards

Customers who use allpay cards to pay Council Tax and Business Rates can visit their local PayPoint or Post office.

Housing Benefit payments

Due to the Christmas bank holiday period, Housing Benefit payments to private tenants and their landlords will be paid early.

  • If your usual payment issue date is Thursday 21 December, the revised issue date is Monday 18 December 2023 covering the period up to 25 December
  • If your usual payment issue date is Thursday 28 December, the revised issue date is Thursday 21 December covering the period up to 1 January 2024.

Recycling and refuse

To see if your collections dates have changed visit our check your collection page.

Real Christmas trees can be recycled in January. Leave it with your green-lidded garden and food waste bin. If it’s over 6 foot, cut in half and remove the pot and all decorations.

Boxes can be flat packed and left under recycling bags, so they don’t blow away, or placed inside the bags if they are small. Larger boxes should be placed out flat packed on recycling week.

You can find the opening times for recycling centres over the Christmas period on the Love Essex website.

Council owned car parks

All our council owned car parks are free to park in on bank holidays and on weekends during December. A full list can be found on our pay and display car parks page.

Warm Places

Some Warm Places will be available over the Christmas period. Visit the Warm Places page for more information.

Leisure centres

Check our leisure centres’ opening times over the Christmas period before visiting:

MOT service centre

Our MOT service centre in Loughton is closed from 2pm Friday 22 December and reopens 8am Tuesday 2 January 2024.

Lost or found dogs

If you have lost or found a dog in the Epping Forest area, contact the Waltham Forest dog team:

  • Call 07815 512833 – from 10am to 7pm on bank holidays, (not available Christmas, Boxing or New Year’s Day)

Leasehold property insurance claims

If you own the leasehold of a property and need to make a building insurance claim (not contents), please refer to insurance for leaseholders on our website.

Social media

We’ll be monitoring our social media accounts from 9am until 9pm every day: