ACTION to tackle queuing at recycling centres in the Borders has been rubber-stamped.

Members of the council’s executive committee endorsed the extension of the booking system to also include small vans on Tuesday (March 14).

The local authority had introduced a booking system for trailers and large vans in response to the COVID pandemic.

A key benefit was a reduction in customers waiting times as larger vehicles, which take longer to unload, are spread throughout the day.

It also reduces the health and safety risk and impact on local businesses, associated with queueing traffic outside sites.

Additionally, the system allows the council to monitor illegal use of sites by traders who have not purchased a trade waste permit.

Now small vans will need to be booked in as part of an expansion of the system.

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Committee members were told that most visits to the centres are by car and are therefore unaffected by the booking system.

Tweeddale East councillor Marshall Douglas said: “I think this is a tremendous move forward, it’s the positive way to go given that we have gone through COVID and this has worked really well. Certainly I know that at Eshiels, the local dump for my area, there has been in the past extensive queueing onto the A72 and a booking system will achieve a reduction there.”

Melrose councillor Jenny Linehan, the council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “Three quarters of local authorities are going down a similar line.

“Of the 59 people who responded to this proposal 44 were happy, the majority of people are happy with this change so let’s continue with our fantastic recycling policy in the Borders and keep improving our waste policy.”

Kelso councillor Simon Mountford added: “This is a very sensible approach. At the Kelso site we do have problems with queuing at certain times and if this booking system can mitigate or minimise this problem then this is a win-win.”