South Tyneside Council is getting set to introduce a new online booking system for residents visiting the Borough's Recycling Village.
Under the arrangements coming soon, residents will need to reserve a slot to dispose of their waste and recyclable materials at the site at Middlefields Industrial Estate in South Shields.
The new free electronic booking system aims to make it easier for people to access the Recycling Village while helping to meet high demand for the service, manage traffic and minimise waiting times for visitors.
Further details will be made available over the coming weeks with the Council looking to implement the new booking system later this summer.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "Our Recycling Village is a popular and valued facility for residents. As such there is extremely high demand for the service at times and this often leads to queuing and traffic issues, which impacts on neighbouring businesses.
"We are committed to providing better facilities and improving access for our residents and have taken on board the issues around congestion with the introduction of a new booking process.
"The new system will make the process smoother, more streamlined and much easier for people to visit the Recycling Village, while helping us to manage the number of vehicles on site at any one time.
"While this will be a major change in how we operate the site, it will bring us into line with many other household waste and recycling centres where similar arrangements have been put in place and are working very well.
"We anticipate that the booking system will prove just as successful in South Tyneside."
Under the new arrangements, visitors to the Recycling Village will be required to book a slot. Booking will be free and restricted to South Tyneside residents only, with time slots released two weeks in advance and available on a first come first served basis.
Residents will be able to reserve their slot electronically via the Council's website. Those with vans will be able to get an annual permit, allowing up to 12 visits a year.
Bookings will also be taken over the phone by calling the Council's Customer Contact Centre.
The new system will allow residents to cancel and re-book their visit as well as receive a notification reminding them of the date and time they have reserved.
Until the new arrangements come into effect, the 'Even Date, Even Plate / Odd Date, Odd Plate' system will remain in place to help keep staff and visitors safe. Vans can continue to visit with a permit between 9.30am and 11am.
These measures help the Council to limit the number of people on site at any one time, in line with current Government guidance around social distancing and helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Councillor Gibson said: "It is important that people continue to observe the rules in place at the Recycling Village while we get the new booking system up and running. Visitors are advised to check what vehicles are permitted on site on what days and know what to do and expect before visiting.
"Residents will be updated on the new booking in arrangements in due course."
The Recycling Village at Middlefields Industrial Estate in South Shields is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9am to 6pm.