Over the Border: Demands to scrap recycling centre booking system

News / Tue 27th Jun 2023 at 09:52am

CALLS have been made to scrap a recycling centre booking policy trial over concerns it has led to increased fly-tipping reports the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Essex County Council introduced a booking system for visiting recycling centres in March.

Brentwood Borough Council has suggested that “a continued escalation in fly-tipping has been observed” since the scheme was introduced.

The county council disputes the new policy has caused an increase in the criminal offence.

Liberal Democrats councillor David Kendall said that between March 2020 and March 2023 there were 1,051 fly-tipping incidents, which cost the council £80,000 to clear up. 

Since the booking systems introduction, there have been 338 fly-tip incidents which have cost £20,000 to remove, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Mr Kendall said: “Our residents want the freedom to visit a recycling centre when it suits them. 

“If we want to encourage our residents to recycle responsibly, then we need to make the process as simple and as easy as possible.

“Fly-tipping is a serious problem and a booking system at the recycling centre is not helping us address it.”

However, Conservative councillor Thomas Bridge said his figures suggest fly-tipping was not linked to the booking system.

A spokesperson for Essex Country Council said: “We are committed to working with councils, the Environment Agency and other enforcement bodies in Essex to ensure the appropriate investigations and action is taken against those that choose to fly-tip.

“Throughout the initial pilot of bookings for large vehicles and for all vehicles using Rayleigh Recycling Centre, we received no reports of increased fly-tipping incidents in the county linked to the booking trial.

“National studies carried out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last year also did not identify any link between booking systems and fly-tipping.

“We believe that by removing any barriers to access through offering same-day bookings, and by offering nearly 50,000 booking slots at recycling centres per week in the summer months, there is no excuse for fly-tipping.”

All recycling centres across Essex offer same-day bookings which can be secured up to 15 minutes in advance of visiting a centre.

The booking system at Essex recycling centres is a trial, lasting for nine months.

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9 Comments for Over the Border: Demands to scrap recycling centre booking system:

Jamie Roberts
2023-06-27 10:13:10

The council has clearly decided fines for fly tipping will line their pockets. How can people clear their property with multiple trips to the dump? Not everyone has a truck to do it all in one go. It’s ridiculous. There’s no reason to believe the booking system has any positive effect whatsoever.

2023-06-27 11:42:46

We don't want to have to 'book a visit'. If we were told how many visitors on average came during each hour of a day, we could plan quite OK without the extra "booking" taking up our time (and theirs too!). I would find this far superior to the present 'test'.

2023-06-27 12:58:32

Jamie Roberts, you’ll have to book multiple trips. I moved recently annd had lots to get rid of and whilst it was a bit annoying booking multiple trips in my car it really wasn’t the end of the world. Better to have a designated slot rather than sitting in a queue for an hour blocking River Way

2023-06-27 15:16:36

I'm missing something here. What has Brentwood council and thier councillors got to do with Harlows refuse centre?

Luke Burton
2023-06-27 16:12:53

I moved to a county where there is no requirement to "book" a slot, and the dumps around here are very efficiently run and very modern with energy recovery systems in place.

Guy Flegman
2023-06-27 17:07:02

Harlow refuse Center is located in an industrial estate. On many days the road is blocked by inconsiderate motorists trying to get rid of their waste. This gridlock has severely impacted the rest of the businesses in the area. Traffic management was tried, but did not work as no one would follow the signage. This just left a booking system which is working well. It’s no great hardship to use, though I do not agree that you need to be a Harlow tax payer to use it, as this means a lot of people just outside town have to travel much further to get rid of their waste.

Alderman Durcan
2023-06-27 18:07:42

I would like to add my support to the new booking system. It’s fairly straightforward and you are sent a reminder. It works

Tony Wiseman
2023-06-28 07:30:25

Bloomin' Eck! Mr Durcan has written something I can agree with. However the real problem is that Harlow has only one recycling centre which begs the question how much pollution is caused by residents from Katherine's and Sumners travelling across all of the town to get to Riverway?

Tracy George
2023-06-28 16:59:15

It may be good for stopping queues at the weekend but the booking system is tosh.

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