Fears that new rubbish tip booking system in Bristol will cause 'explosion' in fly-tipping

The new system will replace the current vehicle registration plate system brought in during the pandemic. Credit: Avonmouth Household Recycling Centre

A new booking system for Bristol’s rubbish tips could cause an “explosion in citywide fly-tipping”, a councillor has warned.

Residents will have to book a slot before visiting household recycling centres from June 6.

This will replace the current vehicle registration plate system brought in during the pandemic to manage numbers and encourage social distancing.

City council-owned Bristol Waste says the new way of working will reduce queues, waiting times and emissions from stationary traffic.

But Bishopsworth ward Tory Cllr Richard Eddy is concerned it will create inconvenience and see householders turned away if they are late to arrive because of traffic, with cars full of rubbish being dumped by the roadside instead of taken back home.

He said: “I truly fear this ill-thought-out booking system will lead to an explosion in citywide fly-tipping.

“Already, during the covid pandemic, we have experienced a massive rise in littering and fly-tipping.

“If Bristolians are forced to accept a booking system where they cannot be assured of taking recyclable items to the tip at a specified time and may be turned away,  I can foresee a huge upsurge in Bristolians leaving their waste illegally elsewhere.”

“Immediately following the lifting of previous covid lockdowns, clearly it was necessary to ration access to the council’s household recycling facilities and an alternating car-registration system worked as an emergency solution,” opposition Cllr Eddy said.

“However, as the country gradually emerges from the pandemic, the imposition of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ booking system seems excessively bureaucratic and is likely to lead to impersonal inconvenience for Bristolians.

Photos taken earlier in January of rubbish that was dumped under a bridge on Talbot Road in Brislington. Credit: BPM Media

“If they turn up slightly late to a booked appointment, are they going to be turned around and rejected, returning home with a car full of recyclable waste?"

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said the new system will help manage the demands on the city's household reuse and recycling centres.

“It will reduce queues, drive down emissions from queuing vehicles, ensure a smoother on-site experience for our residents and prevent any unnecessary journeys to the centres", they said.

"It’s quick and simple to use, and enables residents to book up to two weeks in advance, or as little as one hour before their visit.

“As with any journey a degree of planning will be needed to ensure arrival on time, however staff at the centres will do their best to accommodate residents where late arrivals are unavoidable.

“A new reuse and recycling centre on Hartcliffe Way is due to open in the coming months. Once complete, the centre will be the third recycling site in Bristol and will help to reduce demand and congestion at the two existing sites, as well as provide a closer option for South Bristol residents.”

Booking opens on May 23 for the St Philips and Avonmouth tips on their website or by phoning 0117 922 2100 between 8.30am and 6pm Monday to Friday, except 12pm to 1.30pm on Wednesdays.

Credit: Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service