DORSET Council has asked people to consider whether their “trip to the tip” is necessary after a rise in visitor number caused access problems.

All ten of Dorset Council’s HRCs are running at 50 per cent capacity as social distancing measures remain in effect, halving the amount of available parking spaces at each site.

To manage resulting queues, volunteers and redeployed Council employees were brought in to “meet and greet” visitors, explaining how to negotiate the new site restrictions and helping prevent traffic problems.

But as more Council services prepare to re-open and employees return to their regular roles, rising numbers of visitors at HRCs are starting to create access problems for residents and businesses.

Cllr Tony Alford, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for customer, community and regulatory services, said: “HRCs were reopened to help residents who could not store their waste safely at home.

“But while all sites across the county are operating, normal service has not resumed as we need to make sure visitors can socially distance at our HRCs, which restricts the number of people we can safely accommodate at any given time.

“There should be relatively few cases where waste cannot be stored safely for a week, so there is little need for people to visit more frequently. Therefore, please consider whether your journey to an HRC is essential now.

“If a safety reason justifies a visit to the HRC, it is better to arrive later in the day and avoid Mondays and Tuesdays.

“It would be regrettable to introduce further measures to ration access, so if we keep queuing traffic to a minimum, we can make sure as many people as possible can drop off their waste without causing issues for others.”

To help ease these pressure, social distancing is in place at all sites, people are asked to sort waste before arriving and visitors should follow on-site signage and instructions.