Essex recycling centres will now permanently require booking slots, after an announcement by the County Hall bosses.

The move, trialled at all council-managed centres, resulted from a six-week public consultation with 18,000 responses.

Independent analysis revealed that 58 per cent agreed with car bookings, while 72 per cent supported van and large vehicle bookings.

The booking process was initially tested at nine van-friendly sites.

Peter Schwier, cabinet member for waste reduction and recycling, said: "Efficient waste services play an important role in increasing recycling and reducing waste.

"This is why we are pleased that a decision has been taken to keep the booking process permanently.

"The booking process was introduced to help smooth service demand throughout the day.

"Incidents of congestion and queuing have reduced since the trial started.

"This has made our sites safer and more efficient.

"Our final evaluation of the booking trial shows that overall satisfaction with the booking process is high.

"Going forwards, we will use the consultation feedback to enhance our waste services."

How does the new digital booking system work?

The system allows residents to choose a recycling centre and a slot time for their visit.

On the system's calendar, fully booked slots are displayed in grey, with available options appearing green.

In addition, each slot shows a capacity count in the bottom right-hand corner.

Once a booking is made, a confirmation email is sent to the user.

Attendees must bring the booking confirmation and proof of address to gain access.

The change restricts usage specifically to residents in the Essex area.

Slots can be booked up to six weeks in advance, with bookings closing 15 minutes before the scheduled time.

The council requests residents to limit visits to once a week, but the system does not enforce this.

Each car booking permits a 15-minute slot, during which residents are expected to unload their waste.

If a slot is missed, residents will need to book another.

To cancel a booking, users can click the 'return to my booking' link in the confirmation email to follow cancellation instructions.

Visit for additional information or to book a slot.