‘Hour long queues’ at Oban recycling centre

The queue at the Moleigh Recycling Centre.

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People are queuing up to an hour during busy times at the recycling centre in Oban.

Resident Ian Reid recently went to the Moleigh Recycling Centre and said he faced a queue of 15 vehicles and a wait of 60 minutes while the skips were changed.

Mr Reid said it was not a criticism of staff, but policy, and believes change overs of containers needed to be better managed so as not to frustrate the public and put them off recycling.

The site is council-owned but operated by Renewi.

A spokesperson for Argyll and Bute Council said: ‘On busy days, often when the weather is particularly good, skips can fill up quicker than normal.

‘Amenity sites then have to close so the skips can be emptied safely. We apologise to customers for delays, but site safety for staff and customers is paramount – whether operated by the council or our trusted contractor.’

Mr Reid said he acknowledged that safety was a prime concern but said on a recent  Saturday the site was closed at the time it was scheduled to open.

He said: ‘Skips were being changed and domestic white goods were being repositioned. These operations took more than an hour and could have been carried out either before opening time or at times when visitor numbers were likely to be small.

‘Four out of six of my recent visits have involved lengthy queues. We need guidance about likely busy times. We need to encourage, not discourage, the public to dispose of its waste appropriately.’

Renewi said that safety was its number one concern with a strict policy of ensuring that no members of the public are on site when its mobile plant is operating in areas that are usually accessible to the public.

It said: ‘Our commitment to recycling for Oban’s residents means that our receptacles sometimes fill up during the day and must be emptied, a process which takes about four minutes.  During this short period we close the site to the public so that we can make sure they stay safe.

‘More recently, we have been complying with Covid restrictions that require a maximum of four cars to unload at one time, in order to allow adequate social distancing.

‘The combination of these safety policies has sometimes led to delays lasting 20-40 minutes.  When these delays happen we make sure to apologise to all of those queuing and explain the reason for our policies.

‘We greatly appreciate the patience we have seen among Oban residents when faced with any delays, and we are sorry for any inconvenience that these safety procedures have caused.

‘We are endeavouring to reduce queues whilst maintaining the safety of all visitors. We recommend that residents consider visiting between Tuesday and Thursday when the facility is less busy.’