09:00AM, Thursday 21 May 2020
Cars queuing to get into Stafferton Way Household Waste and Recycling Site caused considerable congestion to surrounding roads over the weekend.
The refuse centre in Stafferton Way, which had been temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, re-opened on Monday, May 11.
The council allocated each ward in the borough a day when residents could take their waste to the site, leaving the biggest wards in Maidenhead to Saturday and those in Windsor to Sunday.
Cllr Donna Stimson (Con, St Mary’s), lead Member for environmental services, climate change, sustainability, parks and countryside said the system was ‘working brilliantly’ despite the traffic congestion caused.
She said cars were queuing past Lidl, round the roundabout and under the railway bridge, but that opening the site without any restrictions would have been ‘unspeakable’.
“We didn’t quite anticipate on the Saturday that there would have been such an interest in people just being prepared to come and sit and wait,” she said.
“I guess we thought people might come, they would see the queue was long and then they would go back and come later.”
Cllr Stimson said Saturday and Sunday were chosen as the days for the biggest wards because during the week, and Saturday mornings, refuse collectors ‘are taking their trucks up and down all day’.
She said: “That road is very narrow so you can’t have cars coming in and out, and queuing, as well as the men trying to get the household waste emptied from our properties.”
As ward councillor for St Mary’s, Cllr Stimson intended to pop to the site on Saturday morning but stayed all day, along with Cllr Helen Taylor (The Borough First, Oldfield), to direct traffic and help centre staff.
Cllr Stimson said: “Because of social distancing we only had three green waste bays open whereas normally we have six, so everything took longer and we were checking everybody’s IDs so that took a while.”
She explained that at about 11.30am the site was closed for an hour-and-a-half when Stafferton Way was ‘getting dangerous’, after which VolkerHighways attended the scene to help manage the traffic.
Cllr Taylor said: “I think it’s just a case of, it’s that first week its opened, everyone’s gone down there with all their rubbish and it’s just been a little bit chaotic.”
“We’re trying to deal with the area we’ve got which is a tight site in a narrow road but most of the residents were pretty good and thankful, a couple were frustrated but you would be if you were sitting in a car for an hour-and-a-half trying to go to the tip.”
Cllr Stimson has asked all staff and councillors ‘for lessons learnt’ and what other contingency plans need to be put in place to ensure the site, and surrounding roads, runs as efficiently as possible.
Residents are reminded to only visit the site on their allocated day, adhere to any directions given by staff, have proof of address visible on dashboards and check RBWM social media accounts for any updates.
NHS staff can visit the site any day.
Details of when wards can visit the site and what waste is being accepted can be found here.
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