COUNCIL bosses have rejected calls to introduce a booking system for recycling centres, arguing it would be too complicated.

Essex’s tips have faced hours of queues ever since the reopening of 15 recycling centres across the county earlier this month, with Pitsea users reporting waits of up to three hours.

Despite Labour councillors calling for a booking system to be put in place to avoid the long queues, Essex County Council said that operationally and technically the system could not be implemented.

Instead, the council is repeating the call for residents to make a decision if the household waste they have really needs to go to the recycling centre right now, or if it can be stored safely until recycling centres return to normal.

Simon Walsh, cabinet member for the environment and climate change action, said: “I’m of course aware that a few sites have had lengthy waiting times for residents to access the Recycling Centres for Household Waste service.

“Although this is not unheard of at weekends or bank holidays, it is not something we generally see during the week.

"We anticipate that this will remain a short-term issue whilst residents return to a more normal mode of life, and have disposed of the waste that has built up over the last eight weeks.

“The operation of a booking system can help with site queues but it rarely eradicates them, unless access to the service is severely restricted. With users spending anything from five minutes to more than one hour on site unloading their waste, a booking system will still lead to queues through the day.

“On a normal busy weekend, centres will handle in excess of 20,000 visits a day. The development, testing and deployment of a system with the capacity to handle this would have significantly delayed the mobilisation of the service and a booking system will lead to significant restrictions in the number of users that can be accommodated.”