Hybrid booking system trial proposed for Stonehaven

Aberdeenshire Council is proposing to introduce a hybrid booking system for 12 months for only two recycling centres in the region.

The council is proposing to introduce a trial hybrid booking system at Stonehaven HRC
The council is proposing to introduce a trial hybrid booking system at Stonehaven HRC

If councillors approve, the system will be rolled out at Stonehaven as well as Macduff from December 1 this year to allow data to be gathered with a view to implementing where practicable in other sites.

The booking system at HRC’s was introduced as both a protective measure for customers and staff and a traffic management tool when the HRCs were opened after the initial Covid lockdown in March 2020.

This allowed for the HRCs to open with minimal traffic disruption.

It also allowed for the number of customers to be minimised and therefore maximise social distancing on site and control the risk of Covid.

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In April 2021 the limit system for restricting access to the HRCs for vans and trailers (commercial type vehicles) was introduced. The HRCs are for use by householders only and not commercial waste.

MP David Duguid, who hears regularly from concerned residents over the current system, said: “Proposing a trial hybrid system for only partially removing bookings, at only two locations for a whole year, merely to ‘gather data’ will be regarded as too little, too slow, by many of my constituents.

“I appreciate certain sites such as Inverurie has seen benefits from the booking system but in most cases, the time and the need for these have passed - as has been the case with other Covid-related restrictions.

“Rather than restricting people, we should be encouraging as many residents as possible to use these valuable facilities, especially during times like this when refuse collection strikes are taking place.

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“As well as the inconvenience to residents, my main concern has been that more recyclable waste is either piling up at people’s houses, going to landfill, or being fly-tipped."

Mr Duguid added: “While I sympathise with the council which has been forced to make savings, these shouldn’t be at the expense of residents who are not able to access the same service as they did before Covid.”