To brief the re3 Joint Waste Disposal Board on access options for the re3 recycling centres.
The Board received a report briefing the re3 Joint Waste Disposal Board on access options for the re3 recycling centres.
Members supported the retention of the recycling centre booking system during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to provide clarity in communications for site visitors. At the JWDB meeting of January 2021, Members requested that future access options be considered. The booking system was introduced to minimise the queues which may have resulted from the ‘one in, one out’ policy; used to help maintain social distancing at the recycling centres. Benefits of managing the flow of residents arriving at the recycling centres were detailed within the report.
There was soon to be an upgrade to the booking system which would allow a postcode look up option. This would help officers to be able to tell where residents were traveling from to use the sites. This would be helpful in the future to allocate funding and work out tonnages.
Three different options had been drafted for members to consider; these were:
Option 1 – Removal of the booking system which would see a return to pre-COVID access arrangements.
Option 2 - Retention of the booking system, with current profiling and additional slots.
Option 3 - Retention of the booking system, with weekday profiling and additional weekend slots.
As this meeting of the re3 Joint Waste Disposal Board was unable to meet in person and due to the changes in the remote meeting protocol, the Board were unable to endorse one of the options within the report. So, it was proposed that as a trial the additional weekend slots be added from this weekend (17 June 2021) and that this continued until September when the data from this trial would be presented to Members and an informed decision could be made.
As a result of the Members comments and questions, the following points were made:
· The number of additional bookings would be gauged through the trial, to see what the optimum number could be, this was also linked to the social distancing guidelines, and as soon as this was released more scope may be given to the numbers able to visit.
· A scale hadn’t been included on the graphs, so they weren’t on the same scale. What was intended by having the 2 graphs was to show the peaks and troughs of busy periods. Whereas the booking system has been able to maintain a steady flow throughout the week. A copy of the graph with scales on could be circulated to Members after the meeting.
· The booking slots could be increased by units of 6, it was very difficult to say what the number would be at this point.
· Bracknell took fly tipping very seriously and would prosecute. Fly tipping would always be investigated thoroughly and the “enviro crime” team was expanding so there would be a strong presence across the Borough.
· Feedback on the booking system had bee positive, with many of the positives outweighing the negatives.
· There would be no desire from Reading to go back to the “free for all” system, which caused terrible queues at Smallmead and often disrupted the A33 with queuing.
· It was requested that the next 3 months be used to gather data on the trial and bring the information to the next meeting in September where a formal decision can be made.
· Longshot Lane, although didn’t suffer from the same queuing issue as Smallmead, did have different access issues that still needed to be resolved.
· It was confirmed that Wokingham residents had also been positive regarding the booking system.
It was confirmed by the Chair, that the trial would be carried on until September and an options report would be brought to the next meeting for Members to make a formal decision.