CIVIC chiefs are taking action to reduce the backlog which built up after rubbish tips were forced to close during the lockdown.

Hampshire County Council is upgrading a new booking system in a bid to increase the number of vehicles which can use the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs).

The changes mean a total of 5,000 slots will be available each day at the 24 sites across the county.

Cllr Rob Humby, the county council's executive member for economy, transport and environment, said: "With Covid-safe measures in place at HWRCs capacity has inevitably been reduced so we had to change the way people visit the sites.

"The new booking system is achieving what it set out to do, eliminating lengthy traffic queues which were causing problems for others.

“We are now in a position to increase the number of slots across Hampshire’s network of HWRCs. This will be done by allowing more people to book in during each half-hour slot."

Responding to some of the recent feedback Cllr Humby said people would be allowed to book up to seven days in advance.

But he urged everyone to ease the burden on tips by composting food and garden waste whenever possible and either upcycling or donating unwanted items.

Bookings can be made online or by calling 023 8017 9949.

Anyone wishing to book a slot must give their name and car registration number and, in the case of online bookings, an email address. Bookings are limited to one slot per household per week.

A county council spokesman said: "There's no need to bring confirmation of the booking to the site - it will have the information.

"Staff will check registration plates upon arrival, which means people will need to arrive in the vehicle specified in the booking. Anyone turning up without a confirmed booking will not be allowed entry.

"As far as possible, only one person per household should visit an HWRC.

"Due to social distancing measures, staff will be unable to provide any assistance with unloading material. Residents are asked to bring only the amount of waste they can comfortably carry."