Wiltshire Council is urging people to cancel no longer needed bookings for household recycling centre (HRCs) visits, at least a day in advance.

More than 500 appointments are being missed in some weeks.

But in the week commencing March 15, a total of 557 appointments were missed as people booked slots online but did not attend. The bookings could have been cancelled easily using the same online booking system, freeing up capacity for others to visit their local HRC.

Parvis Khansari, Director of Highways and Environment, said: “We implemented the booking system in July 2020 to keep staff and residents safe at our 10 HRCs, as it allows us to manage the number of people on site at any one time, enabling effective social distancing and also reducing queuing and the subsequent traffic issues that can cause.

“With more than 550 slots missed in some weeks, over 7% of the total number of available bookings have not been used, preventing other residents from attending a site, at a time when we know demand on the HRCs is increasing.

“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.

“We are continuing to ask people who have used the online booking service to comment on both the booking system and their experiences while on site, so we can establish the benefits and the limitations of the current system, and inform a decision on whether some form of booking system may continue in the future. However, any decision on its future would be for the new Cabinet to decide after the elections.

“Following current Government guidance, we expect the 2m social distancing requirements at the HRCs is likely to remain until at least June 21, and so access restrictions at our HRCs will need to remain in place for some time to come.”

To find out more about HRC opening times, and to book or cancel a visit, people should go to: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/household-recycling-centres