Introducing booking system at Burgess Hill rubbish tip branded a ‘stupid idea’

Plans to introduce a booking system at Burgess Hill’s rubbish tip has been branded ‘crazy’ and a ‘stupid idea’ by Middy readers.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 9:52 am
Burgess Hill's amenity site. Pic Steve Robards

West Sussex County Council started the pilot at Household Waste Recycling Sites in Bognor Regis, Crawley, Horsham, Littlehampton, Shoreham and Worthing back in the spring.

As the six-month trial is now up, the system is due to be reviewed by the council’s communities, highways and environment scrutiny committee today (Thursday September 30).

Officers are now recommending a public consultation be held on the system continuing at the six tips and being extended to a seventh - Burgess Hill.

They note that the Burgess Hill site is not only a recycling centre, but also acts as a waste transfer station used by Mid Sussex District Council.

Queues can form from a mixture of customers, refuse collection lorries, other MSDC vehicles and articulated lorries.

The Burgess Hill site is accessed via Fairbridge Way, at the northern end of the town, with permission granted to build more than 300 homes on a nearby brownfield site.

Officers suggest that as these homes are built and occupied extra pressure will be placed on the access roads.

But extending the booking system to the Burgess Hill tip received a resounding no from readers who shared their thoughts on the Middy’s Facebook page.

Several thought it was a ‘stupid idea’, ‘crazy’ and questioned if it was needed to manage demand now Covid restrictions had been eased.

Other raised fears it would lead to fly tipping.

One reader said: “Surely a booking system would reduce capacity and further contribute to the fly tipping problem. Instead of making it easier to dispose of our waste it seems they are set to make it more difficult.”

The current trial allows people to book slots online and by phone but some thought the less tech-savvy might be put off using the tip at all.

Another reader said: “Not everyone is familiar with using technology, so my parents wouldn’t have a clue and I am sure they are not the only ones who would have a problem with this system.”

Questions were also asked about whether same-day slots would be made available and if a limit on visits per week would be imposed.

One Facebook user wrote: “I think we’re fortunate that we don’t have large queues, hence booking is pointless.

“I don’t always ‘plan’ when I need to go because I’m working on something, so just go. No queue so happy days! Maybe peeps aren’t so fortunate elsewhere.”

According to county council officers, a survey carried out with people visiting recycling centres, which found that almost four out of every five booking site users (79 per cent) thought the system should be made permanent.

Almost everyone who was surveyed (99 per cent) said queuing times had improved since its introduction.