The council said that in the week commencing 15 March a total of 557 appointments were missed as people booked slots online that they then didn’t attend. This equates to around 7% of all bookings.
The council said these bookings could have “easily been cancelled using the same online booking system, and crucially freeing up some capacity for other people”.
HWRCs in Wiltshire are operated by Hills Waste Management and FCC Environment. Booking systems were introduced in July 2020 as part of efforts to manage the number of people on site and implement social distancing.
Parvis Khansari, director of highways and environment, said: “We’ve made it as easy as possible to cancel a booking using the online system, so I’d urge anyone with a booking that they no longer need to log back in and cancel it, so someone else can make use of the slot.
“Sites are now open for summer hours and we’ve worked closely with our contractors to ensure we provide as much capacity as possible, while still complying with the current social distancing requirements. This has resulted in 26% more slots available to book each week than when sites were operating under their winter opening hours.”
The message from Wiltshire council comes as councils are reviewing the future of booking systems at HWRCs as lockdown restrictions ease (see letsrecycle.com story).
At the time many were introduced critics such as Simon Clark, the minister for regional growth and local government, expressed fears booking systems could lead to increased fly-tipping (see letsrecycle.com story).
But they have proved popular, and more councils are looking at the possibility of introducing them soon, even as lockdown restrictions ease.