A controversial booking system to use Fife’s recycling centres will go – but we still don’t know when.
Councillors have agreed to scrap the unpopular online bookings but have not been able to commit to a date.
However, it’s likely the public will be allowed free access at 10 of the region’s 11 recycling centres within weeks rather than months.
The system will remain in place for longer at Ladybank for safety reasons.
This is because access is shared with the entrance to a landfill site, which is used by HGVs.
And officers say it’s too dangerous to allow the public to mix with landfill lorries.
Dismayed locals have been assured bookings will also be axed there as soon as a new public entrance is created.
The changes only apply to household waste transported in cars – those using commercial vehicles or trailers will still have to book.
This is to stop the illegal dumping of trade waste.
Queues predicted at recycling centres
Council officers have predicted a rush at recycling centres once the system is lifted.
And discussions are ongoing as to how queueing will be policed.
Head of assets Ken Gourlay said there was still a higher than normal number of staff absences due to Covid and called for patience.
“I suspect if we’re going to get a rush it’s going to be in the first few weeks,” he said.
“Staff on site will be geared up for that.
There’s a fair to reasonable chance we’ll get problems at sites in terms of access.”
Head of assets Ken Gourlay.
“Most council services are suffering at the moment with absences and servicing the sites is problematic.
“Trying to get drivers is difficult.
“There’s a fair to reasonable chance we’ll get problems at sites in terms of access.
“There could be difficult circumstances for the first few weeks.”
Next steps and timescales
Councillors have welcomed the commitment to scrap the booking system but called for clarification over timescales.
Fife Council’s Conservative group leader Dave Dempsey said: “The first thing the public is going to say is, right when can we go without having to book?
“We don’t have any indication of when that might be.”
There is a management meeting on Friday to discuss several issues and Mr Gourlay said timescales would be released quickly.
Online bookings will be replaced by electronic barriers at all sites and this will take time to implement.
“We’re working with contractors to get barriers in place as soon as possible,” said Mr Gourlay.
“I can’t commit to a date for you but it will be sooner rather than later.
“We’re talking weeks rather than months.”