Recycling waste in South Tyneside has been branded ‘garbage’ by a fed-up user who claims householders are enduring unacceptable waits to offload rubbish.
Steven Dickinson, 50, says council chiefs should act after he was one of around two dozen motorists caught in a 45-minute queue at Middlefields Recycling Village in South Shields at the weekend.
He fears lengthy delays are putting people off using the Tyne Dock site - and possibly encouraging them to fly-tip.
The site is open from 9am to 6pm daily - every day except Christmas Day - and council chiefs say people should avoid peak periods.
Mr Dickinson, a bus driver, hit out after he and his wife Sharon, 44, endured the hold-up from around 1pm on Sunday.
Mr Dickinson, of Colman Avenue, Simonside, says he has been caught in similar jams numerous times in recent weeks.
As well as causing driver frustration, he believes running vehicle engines are adding to environmental damage.
He said: “It’s fine that the council wants to encourage recycling, but they really must make it easier for people to do so.
“While we were sitting in this queue, a number of cars reversed out and drove off. It makes you wonder where that rubbish ended up.
“One day last month, I used the centre four times and queued for about 45 minutes each time. It’s just not acceptable.”
Another site user, who did not wish to be namedm said: “Traffic jams are a regular problem. I organise my trips with any radio programme I want to listen to or bring my favourite CDs”
Mr Dickinson believes South Tyneside Council’s new policy of charging householders to pay for green recycling was part of the problem.
He added: “More and more people are using the site to get rid of their garden waste now. The facility really should be better managed, staff don’t help drivers to locate spaces.
“It can’t be good for the environment to have around cars sat waiting in these queues with their engines on.”
A warning on the council’s website states weekends are the busiest times and suggests people should come before 11am or after 4pm.
It says householders can speed up their visit by separating their waste before they arrive.
Coun Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council , said: “It is encouraging to see so many people recycling their waste.
“The Recycling Village is generally busier during the summer holidays and at weekends. We would advise people to avoid peak periods and instead visit the Recycling Village between 9.30am and 11am, or after 4pm during the week.
“We would also ask people to separate their waste prior to visiting the site if possible, as this will speed up their visit and allow them to put their waste into the correct container’
“Staff are on site to direct users into empty spaces and aim to help people dispose of their waste as quickly and safely as possible as well as ensuring that waste is sorted correctly.”