A trial booking system has been made permanent at some Recycling Centres in West Sussex after a public consultation showed support for the measures.
Since April 2021, Book to Recycle has been in operation at Bognor Regis, Crawley, Horsham, Littlehampton, Shoreham-by-Sea and Worthing Recycling Centres to manage demand at peak periods and reduce queuing vehicles.
West Sussex County Council launched a public consultation on whether the booking system should remain in November last year.
7,374 people responded to the consultation, with 62% of people agreeing it should be maintained.
The consultation also asked respondents about the ease of the booking system, which 4429 people said was easy to use.
Since the trial began over 645,000 bookings have been made for recycling slots at Bognor Regis, Crawley, Horsham, Littlehampton, Shoreham-by-Sea and Worthing Recycling Centres.
Of those who responded negatively to the proposals, the main objection was the lack of ‘on the day bookings’. In response to this, the County Council is trialling same day bookings at all six sites.
The decision to make the booking system permanent was made by Deborah Urquhart, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, on 18 March.
The option to extend the booking system on a site-by-site basis to Billingshurst, Burgess Hill, East Grinstead, Midhurst and/or Westhampnett Recycling Centres, on a temporary or permanent basis was approved, should this be needed to manage congestion or other issues in the future.
Deborah Urquhart, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “I’m pleased to approve this decision to make the booking system permanent, after positive feedback from residents across the county.
“Book to Recycle has greatly reduced waiting times, cut congestion and minimised traffic disruption. The reduction in queuing vehicles has improved air quality for neighbours and lowered carbon emissions.
“The booking system has also greatly improved accessibility for nearby businesses and residents, who were impacted by queueing vehicles entering Recycling Centres before the trials began. We’ve listened to residents’ views on improvements to the system and introduced same day bookings.
“Making an online booking takes less than 60 seconds, and telephone bookings are still available for those who can’t get on the internet or access a computer.”
Residents are allowed a total of five trips each calendar month. Currently, slots are available up to 14 days in advance. Residents making same day bookings must bring proof of their booking when they arrive.