Attempts to streamline the process of booking a trip to the recycling centre during the Covid-19 lockdown have been welcomed at council level.
A number of complaints had been raised about the booking system put in place following the easement of coronavirus restrictions.
Cllr Kathleen McGurk said some constituents had experienced difficulty when trying to make a same-day booking, but moves have since been made to improve the service.
“I asked the Environmental Services Director to improve the current system to ensure there are less issues when trying to book a slot including provision same day booking,” said Cllr McGurk.
“I very much welcome the improvements that the council team have now implemented and praise should be given to the quick response to the complaints.
“The new online booking systems which is being rolled out should streamline the service for all users.”
The online system, which will facilitate same-day booking, will be trialled at sites in Coleraine and Limavady this week, with the council hoping to roll it out to all sites within a fortnight.
The number of slots has also been increased to allow for four vehicles every ten minutes, with a view to increasing it to six vehicles this week.
In the meantime, the council has increased the number of operators taking bookings to seven at centres that do not yet have the online booking system in place.
“I appreciate there have been frustrations caused by the booking system and some have called for its removal entirely,” said Cllr McGurk
“However it is essential that we maintain it for the meantime to avoid the long queues and congestion seen in other Council areas.
“It is also worth noting that since the introduction of the booking system, most council recycling centres are working to full capacity with slots being entirely filled for the following day.
“If this wasn’t managed correctly it would lead to peak usage times which would have the potential to overwhelm staff at the centres and cause traffic issues.
“Whilst this may not have been as likely a scenario in smaller recycling centres, it was important that the same approach was taken to all centres across the council area.”
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