A petition has been launched calling for a booking system to be introduced at Lichfield’s household waste recycling centre.

The Lichfield Household Waste and Recycling Centre. Picture: Google Streetview

The facility has seen gridlock on nearby roads with drivers queuing to use the tip.

Staffordshire County Council has introduced a new layout on the site to create more berths for motorists to unload, as well as using enforcement officers to prevent tailback on Trent Valley Road and the neighbouring island.

But a petition started by Kathy Coe MBE – who will represent Labour at the county council elections in May – says more steps are needed.

Queues at Trent Valley island after roads were closed to accommodate the reopening of the tip in Lichfield last year

“Lichfield residents who have had rubbish to take to the recycling centre recently have faced frustration and delays in what should have been a simple routine task.

“The queues of traffic which have built up around Trent Valley have caused problems for everyone travelling in that area.

“The solution is simple – introducing a booking system would be a straightforward and effective way of maintaining the flow of traffic into the centre.”

Kathy Coe MBE

Other local authorities, including Birmingham City Council have introduced appointment systems to manage demand.

“The county council website currently directs you to an alternative tip if you are struggling to take your rubbish to Lichfield, which is run by Warwickshire Council and which has a booking system.

“There are quite a number of sites across the West Midlands region using similar systems.

“This leaves us with the question of why there is no system in Lichfield to ease the congestion and the pressure on the staff to keep the Centre Covid-compliant?

“There is a clear link to people not being able to take rubbish to a tip, and fly tipping. We don’t want to see our lovely city littered with rubbish.”

Kathy Coe MBE

Changes to the site last month saw capacity for cars to drop off their rubbish increased.

Darryl Eyers, Staffordshire County Council’s director for economy, infrastructure and skills, said at the time:

“The work at Lichfield will increase capacity and allow us to handle more users at any one time so we appreciate people’s patience while we finish the work.

“We will continue to have officers on the road outside to help manage queues.”

Darryl Evers, Staffordshire County Council

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  1. A booking system is the sort of “solution” one would expect from the political class. It will not solve the problem but merely shift it. The removal of traffic congestion will allow some councillor to hail it as a success when the real problem, that of insufficient capacity to meet demand, remains. The population of Lichfield has grown significantly in recent years and in many cases the provision of essential services has not grown with it eg schools, doctors and clearly waste disposal. A booking system will still mean people will not be able to dispose of their rubbish: instead of queueing in their cars on Trent Valley Road they will be sitting on their computer trying to get a slot at a time when they are able to get to the tip. Out of site, out of mind. It will not remove the temptation to fly tip. A real solution will be to increase capacity. The remodelling (which has taken capacity to levels similar to pre-Covid times) appears (at least when I have visited the tip in the last week) to have had a positive impact. However if it is not enough then additional measures should be taken: longer opening hours, 7 day/week operation. If that is insufficient an alternative site would be required.
    But please, no booking system. That will solve nothing. Also please consider this. Once a booking system is in place, you will have implemented most of the infrastructure necessary to demand payment for each visit to the tip. Be careful what you wish for.

  2. Why should we have to book, find another place which is bigger and can take the amount of people which use it they find land to build houses quick enough.

  3. Maybe instead of trying to use a facility that is too small for purpose and bad access wouldn’t it be a better choice to relocate to a larger more easily accessible site and yes. open 7 days a weeks. This is more important now more than ever as people are now working from home and can adjust their visits to the tip to coincide with their working day

  4. Create a huge new tip alongside the route of HS2. Its already destroying a big chunk of the countryside so why not just add a rubbish dump to the damage?

  5. The answer must surely be during daylight hours to open 7 days a week and give people the flexibility to spread the demand over a longer period.
    There’s no point in opening weekends and then closing Monday and Tuesday, this only creates a backlog. A booking system will lead to fly tipping which is already a problem in Lichfield. There will be an additional cost for the Council, but this would be offset by the cost the council already incurs in sending crews out to clear fly tipping.

  6. I live near to the tip and, yes, it is at times horrendously busy. However, most times it isn’t and you can trundle along up to the depot without issue and with only a modest wait.

    A booking system allows the peaks the be managed, ensures everyone with a legitimate need has fair access (evidence of address at point of booking and deposit means only we who pay for this service can use it) and evens out the supply with demand. It also allows all to openly gauge whether demand is being met with supply. If you can’t book a slot, or have to wait days or weeks for a space, then it’s clear to all that Nigel’s fears are real and we have a issue that needs addressing.

    There are good reasons other councils are using this method. So should we.

  7. All a booking system will do will make it more inconvenient to drop off rubbish, which will mean more fly tipping. As long as the council understands and is prepared to deal with this then so be it. However let’s look at the bigger picture, the recycling centre has been in Lichfield, the same size and same location since I’ve been here for about 30 years. Lichfield’s population has doubled in that time. What they actually need is to either open another similar size site or close this site and reopen somewhere else with a site that can handle the number of users. Let’s keep it local – why not level the abandoned GKN building and turn that into the new facility. It’s big enough for an on-site processing facility too. Lichfield’s infrastructure has to expand with the ever increasing population – unfortunately the councillors who have been here since the 18th century just don’t understand this and bury their heads in the sand.

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