Date of reservation of the recycling center and everything you need to know about the big changeover

The big switch from a number plate system to the need to book in advance to visit one of Bristol’s household recycling centers will take place next month, waste chiefs have revealed.

Bristol Waste and council leaders said switching to a reservation system would reduce queues to enter the two recycling centres, and mean people would not go to the landfill and wait for hours to enter.

The booking system was first revealed by Bristol Live in early April, with news that it would come into effect in May, but this has been pushed back and will not start again until June 6.

Read more: The three-hour tipping queues – how Bristol is coping with unprecedented demand for the recycling center

People will be able to start booking time slots to travel to recycling centers in St Phillips or Avonmouth from May 23. Until June 5, the odd and even day car license plate system will continue.

For the past two years – mainly because people didn’t have much else to do – queues at recycling centers have been recorded for up to four hours.

This has not only caused problems for people needing to recycle their belongings, but has also created problems for people living and working around recycling centres, particularly Days Lane in St Phillips, with queues filling the streets around. The introduction of the even/odd number plate system was an attempt to reduce these queues, but now the council is moving to a reservation system which is common in other areas around Bristol, as has explained Cllr Kye Dudd.

“We’ve seen the system work very well in local authorities across the county, as well as neighboring areas such as Bath and North East Somerset and Gloucestershire and Swindon,” he said.

“The new reservation system will help manage the high demand from the city’s household reuse and recycling centers. This will reduce queuing, reduce emissions from queuing vehicles and ensure a smoother on-site experience for our residents.

“Easier access to the site and reducing traffic pollution will help us achieve our environmental goals and increase recycling rates,” he added.

Queues for St Phillips Recycling Center can last up to four hours

A spokesperson for Bristol Waste promised website booking would be ‘quick and simple’ and would be done through the council’s website. You can book up to two weeks in advance and as little as one hour before your departure.

For people without internet you can call a special number to book over the phone – this is 0117 9222100, and will be available between 8.30am and 6pm Monday to Friday, but is closed between 12pm and 1.30pm on Wednesdays.

Anyone bringing recycling to recycling centers on foot or by bike will not need to book at all. And a third recycling center will open in south Bristol – on Hartcliffe Way in Bedminster – later this year.

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