Councillors are calling for Lincolnshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centre to return to seven-day a week opening after massive queues and delays since the COVID-19 booking system ended for all tips.
Introduced during the coronavirus lockdown to maintain social distancing and manage crowding, the booking system for Lincolnshire’s tips came to an end on September 1 — but they are no longer open on Wednesdays and Thursdays as they were prior to the pandemic.
This has led to large tailbacks reported at several of the county’s facilities including Lincoln, Boston and Spalding.
Boston Borough Council Independent 20/20 Councillor Peter Watson is now lobbying for Lincolnshire County Council to have the facility open seven days a week.
“Otherwise people give up in these queues and just go and dump their waste in the wrong place,” he said.
Fellow party member, and former council leader Councillor Peter Bedford agreed, accusing the closure of being a “budget cutting exercise”.
He said the authority should also “stop using COVID as an excuse in the interim”.
“The county council now needs to get on with things and get it done properly,” he said.
He felt the two-day closure encourages people to fly-tip on the way home if they arrive to find the gates closed.
“The consequences [to reopening] would be, hopefully, that it will stop a lot of the fly-tipping that has been going on.”
Despite the frustrations at the queues, the booking system came under immense public scrutiny after a report before the council in July found that it had cost around £9,000 a month to operate, and around 12-15% of people who booked did not show up.
It is understood Lincolnshire County Council bosses are due to meet with members of the authority in a few weeks’ time.
Simon Bell from waste services at Lincolnshire County Council previously said: “We’ve reviewed the opening times at all our HWRCs across the county, and due to differing levels of demand, we’ve increased the opening days at some and decreased at others.
“All sites are now open between Friday and Tuesday. The majority of sites are now open an extra day with Gainsborough, Market Rasen, Boston, and Lincoln GNT also opening an hour earlier than pre-pandemic.”