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Recycling centre no-shows

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
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ONE in nine people who book slots to dump waste at their local recycling centre don’t bother to show up.

A survey was recently carried out on the service offered at all 12 household waste recycling centres (HWRC) in Dumfries and Galloway.

More than 4000 people completed the survey, which asked various questions about the facilities and quality of service they received.

However, one surprise statistic was that 12 per cent of users booked a time to dump their waste – but never turned up.

Of those people, a quarter of them admitted they simply forgot about the booking.

The survey showed the recycling centre in Lincluden had the highest number of no-shows at 18 per cent, followed by Lochar Moss at 15 per cent, and Lockerbie with 14 per cent.

Councillors called for a review of the booking system six months ago to better understand the “end-to-end customer experience as part of continuous improvement” and to ensure the public are getting proper access to the sites.

An update is to be provided at the council’s communities committee next Tuesday.

More than 3500 surveys were completed online, while around 500 were carried out during face-to-face conversations with customers at the HWRCs.

The survey was largely positive, with 99.6 percent of people saying the booking system is easy to use. Meanwhile, the customer satisfaction rates for each site varied between 89-96 per cent.

A booking system is in place for all sites. The purpose is to help make the process more efficient with minimal on-site waiting time and ensuring there is enough staff and recycling resources to meet demand.

Slots for visiting an HWRC can be reserved through the council’s website by providing details about the vehicle, type of waste, and selecting from the available slots.

Alternatively, booking can be done via phone or by visiting any of the customer service centres. If visitors arrive without prior booking at any of the 12 sites, a three-strike policy is in operation, resulting in users being denied entry after the third non-booked visit.

Based on what council officers described as “very positive feedback” from the public, councillors are being asked to approve the retention of the booking system for recycling centres.

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