OPENING hours at all tips in the Dorset Council area are changing, with an additional hour in the winter and one hour less in the summer.

From October 1 to March 30, Household Recycling Centres (HRCs), or tips, will open from 9am until 4pm, an hour earlier than they normally open.

From April 1 to September 30, tips will still open at 9am but will close at 5pm, having always stayed open until 6pm in the summer months.

Dorset Council say they have analysed traffic data which shows there is far more demand for tips between 9am and 10am than there is between 5pm and 6pm.

Councillors say the move to open earlier will especially help during March, as tips experienced a high number of visitors dropping off garden waste due to the early onset of warmer spring weather this year. Services reportedly struggled to cope as tips didn't open until 10am but visitors began arriving much earlier.

It is hoped the earlier opening times in winter will smooth demand throughout the day.

Councillor Jill Haynes, Dorset Council 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 a HRC at 9am in the winter than between 5pm and 6pm in the summer so we're changing operating hours accordingly.

"This change makes our messaging easier; all HRCs in Dorset are open from 9am daily all year round, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years 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."