A CHANGE to opening times at Spalding’s Household Waste Recycling Centre has been described as a “real clanger” as queues continue to cause chaos.
In the past couple of weeks the sight of dozens of cars waiting to get into the tip in West Marsh Road has become a familiar one.
Many regular users claim the queues are a result of recent changes to opening hours, which mean the gates remain locked until 9am, instead of the previous summer opening time of 8am.
One regular, Mick Wailen, of Holbeach St Johns, said: “A lot of people used to drop off their rubbish on their way to work, but now they can’t and it’s causing queues.
“Lincolnshire County Council has dropped a real clanger on this one.
“It’s a dodgy road at the best of times but these queues are causing a real hazard.”
Ian Taylor, environmental services team leader at the county council said he was aware of the situation, adding: “We would like to reassure people that we are monitoring it closely and we will identify a permanent solution.”
It has been suggested that part of the problem at Spalding’s recycling centre is due to South Holland District Council not providing a green waste kerbside collection.
At this time of year, as the weather improves and more people turn their attention to their gardens, the centre traditionally gets busier.
Council leader Gary Porter said a kerbside collection is unlikely as it would cost more than £40,000 and would undoubtedly result in recycling and general refuse collections being reduced to fortnightly.
But Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for waste management, said if the situation at the centre continued it might become necessary to look at a “local solution”, and that he was keeping an eye on the situation to see if it improved.
He said: “I raised it with the county council and I believe a highways officer has visited to look at the road safety issues these queues may be causing.
“I think the new hours are obviously having an impact but at the end of the day it all comes down to money, and the county council is just trying to balance its books.
“My concern would be that people will stop using the centre and we will be faced with the cost of clearing up fly-tipping, which would negate the saving made on opening hours cuts.
“Also, if people do stop using it, the county council could use that as a reason to cut hours even more.
“I’m keeping a close eye on the situation.”