A booking system at Harrow Recycling Centre began today (June 29) in an attempt to tackle long waiting times and congestion in the surrounding area.

Harrow Council decided to implement the new measures at its civic amenity site, in Forward Drive, following issues with lengthy queues as people rushed to get rid of their waste.

Visitors now have to pre-book a time slot to access the tip, which can be done online.

The centre is still only open to Harrow residents, who must bring ID and proof of address to gain entry.

It had been dogged by lengthy queues since it reopened to all residents on all days on June 15.

Following closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the recycling centre reopened on May 18 with different days allocated to residents from certain post codes.

This system was abandoned – meaning all Harrow residents could use the tip on any day – once the council felt things had “calmed down” in terms of the number of visitors.

However, those looking to use the site faced waiting times of up to two hours while there was congestion on surrounding roads.

Cllr Varsha Parmar, who is responsible for the environment at Harrow Council, explained that the council held ambitions to implement a booking system at the site since the outbreak of Covid-19.

At a cabinet meeting earlier this month, Cllr Paul Osborn, leader of Harrow Conservatives, agreed that this seemed like the most “sensible solution” to managing the traffic build-up.

A similar system is also in place in neighbouring Brent as residents are required to book a slot to use its recycling centre in Abbey Road.