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Kent County Council to keep booking system at household waste recycling centres

The county council is planning to keep the booking system for its household waste recycling sites in place rather than lift all restrictions next month.

In what will be seen as a controversial move by some, the authority says the temporary measures during the lockdown have "proved popular", although officials recognise some people still want to visit at short notice.

The household waste recycling centre in Canterbury
The household waste recycling centre in Canterbury

So they are planning it to make the system more flexible with same-day bookings available in half hour slots and longer opening hours.

Although there has been no official announcement about the changes, they have been communicated to a parish council in an email approved by the authority's portfolio holder for waste recycling, Cllr Susan Carey.

She was responding to a query about the booking system from Cllr Carol Davis, vice-chairman of Herne and Broomfield Parish Council.

Cllr Carey says: "Earlier this year there was a survey of views of current visitors to our Household Waste Recycling Centres covering all aspects of their experience including booking.

KCC’s Cabinet Member for Environment Susan Carey
KCC’s Cabinet Member for Environment Susan Carey

"The booking system was introduced as an emergency measure to control numbers so that we could safely reopen last May. Since then, we have increased availability of booking slots, lifted all limits on the number of visits and streamlined the booking service.

"The convenience and security of a booked space has proved popular with current visitors but we are aware that some people want to be able to visit at short notice.

"The next change to the system is that it will allow same day bookings in half hourly slots. We hope this will be operational in late June when the household waste recycling centres will once more be open Monday – Saturday 8am – 16.30pm and Sundays and Bank Holidays 9am-4pm.

Household waste recycling centre
Household waste recycling centre

"We are also considering other changes such as opening on one or more evenings and extending the hours of opening on busier days."

Cllr Davis said: "The old system did work very well and having the booking system does seem to over-complicate things, especially for those who aren't online."

Kent County Council was unable to comment further.

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