Data comparing the weight of recycling and waste collected at the centres between October 2022 and October 2023 shows an increase of 0.37 tonnes for every hour the centres are open. This increase is the equivalent of 370 1kg bags of sugar per hour.
The overall volume of recycling and waste collected has dropped by over 50% when comparing October 2022 and October 2023, which suggests residents are choosing to wait until they have multiple items before booking a visit.
In October 2023, 22,041 bookings were made at West Lothian's five recycling centres, which represents 78% of the available slots. This meant 22% of slots were not used, with Whitburn and Blackburn having most availability.
Nearly 2000, or 9% of all booking were no shows, some of which could have been used by other residents. The booking confirmation email contains links for anyone who wishes to cancel or amend their booking to free up the space for others.
Executive councillor for the environment Tom Conn said: "While this is only a one-month snapshot, I welcome the early evidence that many local residents are making sensible adjustments to allow for the recycling centre changes.
"Feedback from most residents is that they are finding the booking system easy to use and are getting spaces that suit them. It appears that many residents are making the decision to store items at home, if they can, until they have enough to make their trip worthwhile.
"The changes to our recycling centres were necessary to allow us keep all five recycling centres open and make the savings we need to help balance our budget gap. West Lothian has more recycling centres by population size than most councils in Scotland and our priority was to keep all our sites open.
"The booking system also maintained access for local residents, with a number of our neighbouring authorities already introducing measures to limit access to their sites to those who live within their boundaries."
To book a visit to a recycling centre, please visit Community Recycling Centre (CRC) bookings. Anyone unable to book online should call our customer services team on 01506 280000 between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday, and select the option to book a CRC slot.