Earlier winter opening hours for Swanage tip to meet local demand

Residents are being given the opportunity to tip up earlier to the Swanage recycling centre over winter, as new opening hours are introduced.

Dorset Council says that studies show there is a demand for the tip to open earlier in the winter, however in summer, the last hour of opening up to 6 pm is less popular with residents.


Open at 9 am during the winter instead of 10 am

Consequently, the tip on Prospect Business Park, just off Victoria Avenue, will now open at 9 am during the winter instead of 10 am. This will come into effect from Friday 1st October 2021. It will close at 4 pm as normal throughout the winter.

They’ll also be a change to the summer opening hours from Friday 1st April 2022 with the tip closing at 5 pm, an hour earlier than normal. It will open at 9 am as usual during the summer.

These new opening hours will apply to all 10 of Dorset Council’s household recycling centres (HRCs) including the Wareham tip on Westminster Road Industrial Estate.

Swanage Household recycling centre

Swanage household recycling centre, more affectionately called ‘the tip’, on Prospect Business Park, just off Victoria Avenue

Changes to opening hours

Winter hours 1st October to 30th March

Current – 10 am to 4 pm
New from Friday 1st October 2021 – 9 am to 4 pm

Summer hours 1st April to 30th September

Current – 9 am to 6 pm
New from 2022 – 9am to 5 pm

Swanage Household recycling centre

Brings the hours in line with BCP

The new times will also bring the hours in line with the opening hours of the tips in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council’s area.

Dorset Council said that average daily traffic data across its HRCs showed there is far more demand between 9 am and 10 am (around 427 vehicles per hour) than there is between 5 pm and 6 pm (227 vehicles per hour).

Queuing to get in

It said that particularly in March at the start of the gardening growing season, its recycling centres experienced a higher number of visitors wishing to drop off garden waste, with many arriving before 10 am and queuing to get in.

It is hoped the earlier opening times in winter will smooth demand throughout the day, matching visitors’ travelling patterns and reducing morning queue times.

Dorset Council said that as the move essentially involves moving one hour of daily operational time in summer to winter, the change of hours is cost neutral.

Swanage Household recycling centre

“Tailor our services to the needs and behaviours of the public that we serve

Councillor Jill Haynes, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for customer and community services said:

“It’s important that, wherever possible, we tailor our services to the needs and behaviours of the public that we serve.

“In this instance, we’ve looked at the data and it’s clear that people would much rather drop their waste at an HRC at 9 am in the winter than between 5 pm and 6 pm in the summer, so we’re changing operating hours accordingly.

“This change makes our messaging easier; all HRCs in Dorset are open from 9 am daily all year round (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day).

“It will also address the historic issues we’ve had in March – and across the winter months generally – when some visitors want to drop their waste off first thing in the morning before carrying on with their day.

“I’d like to thank our waste contracts team for their hard work researching and devising these changes, to our contractors W&S Recycling for the great job they do managing our 10 HRCs, and to everyone who uses them to ensure their waste is disposed of correctly.”

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