South Tyneside waste site is rubbish, say residents

The traffic queue at the Middlefields Recycling Village
The traffic queue at the Middlefields Recycling Village

What a load of rubbish!

That’s the verdict of householders fed up with lengthy queues and delays at South Tyneside’s main recycling centre.

The traffic queues last autumn

The traffic queues last autumn

Dozens have condemned a service which has forced some to wait over an hour to offload their trash at the Middlefields Recycling Village in South Shields.

They are demanding action to eradicate a problem which first spilled over in August last year and is now leading businesses to threaten to quit the area.

Council bosses say they are working on plans to beat the problem.

Last year, a public outcry forced South Tyneside Council to bring in extra staff at the site , on the Middlefields Industrial Estate.

Centre users have again hit out, joining companies who this week said near constant queues into the estate were hindering business.

Spilling their frustrations on the Gazette’s social media platforms, recyclers blamed the problem on cuts to domestic bin collections.

Others slammed the new £30 charge to empty green bins and criticised reductions to the recycling centre’s operating hours.

On Facebook, Eddie Czestochowski said: “It was false economy to charge extra for green bins, and a ridiculous decision to reduce the hours at Middlefields.”

Angela Routledge said: “They’ve reduced the hours and cut collections to fortnightly. Then the garden waste has now got the £30 charge. So, what’s the increase on the council tax for?”

Council chiefs have revealed they were now in discussions to find resolutions to issues such as access, traffic flow and car parking.

Changes to the recycling centre could include altering the road layout and lane marking to the feeder lanes at the site entrance to reduce the number of cars queuing outside the village.

A camera, which would feed directly to the council’s website, and would allow residents to view when the site is particularly busy, is also being considered.

A council spokesman said: “The very poor weather of early March had a huge impact on the site, with a significant reduction in trips over this period.

“However, this changed dramatically when temperatures rapidly increased last week, leading to a spike in usage.

“We want to assure people that we are committed to doing everything we can to alleviate the problems for visitors and to reduce the impact on businesses on Middlefields Industrial Estate.

“Increasing the amount of waste we recycle is a top priority for us and, as such, we are always exploring ways to make it easier for people to dispose of and recycle more of their waste.

He added: “We welcome suggestions from members of the public on ways to improve the site and are already taking proactive action to remedy the traffic queues of recent days.

“However, we would encourage people to avoid peak periods where possible and visit between 9.30am and 11am or after 4pm during the week.”