Changes to opening hours at a popular South Tyneside recycling facility are set to make it easier for people to do their bit for the environment over the Bank Holiday period.
The Recycling Village at Middlefields Industrial Estate in South Shields is open every day (except Christmas Day), from 9am until 6pm, with extended evening opening times operating over Bank Holiday periods.
However, the Council and its new contractor Remondis are set to pilot an earlier opening time over the next Bank Holiday to bring them more in line with demand for the service.
For four days over the Easter break (Friday 30 March to Monday 2 April), the site will be open from the earlier time of 8am until 6pm.
Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: "Bank Holiday weekends tend to be busy periods for Recycling Village staff with many people using these long weekends to have a good clear out at home.
"Recycling Village staff are finding there are often a number of vehicles queuing up ahead of the facility opening, with very few vehicles entering the site beyond 6pm.
"With this in mind, we are trialling some adjustments to the opening hours over the next the bank holiday weekend to accommodate trends in visitor numbers at a time when demand for the service is typically quite high.
"We have listened to residents and hope this makes it easier for people visiting the site. By supporting people to do their bit for the environment and recycle more of their household waste, we can help to boost our recycling targets and divert even more waste away from landfill."
The revised Bank Holiday opening hours pilot follows the introduction of additional workers last summer to provide extra assistance to visitors, signpost them to where certain materials needs to go and to encourage use of all the bays.
This led to a noticeable difference in helping to reduce waiting times and ensuring a quicker visit for users recycling a wide range of materials and disposing of any excess household waste.
Remondis, which took over the running of the Recycling Village in December, is now working with the Council to look what more can be done to improve the service for visitors.
Ian Hay, Remondis' Site Manager, said: "We are delighted to be working with South Tyneside Council to build on the achievements of the Recycling Village and help to recycle as much as possible from the materials brought on to the site.
"Customer satisfaction is extremely important to us. We want people to come back time and time again to dispose of their waste and unwanted items and have a positive experience of their visit every single time."
Councillor Smith added: "We continue to work with our partners at Remondis, listen to residents' to help ensure they get the best possible service from the Recycling Village."
For further information about recycling, the Recycling Village or the many other ways to safely and responsibility dispose of waste in South Tyneside visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling Alternatively, call the Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000.