Haringey Council has been criticised for cuts to recycling facilities after people had to wait for 45 minutes at a depot.

Traffic was queued down Western Road last weekend as residents waited to deposit their waste at the Wood Green depot – currently the only one in the borough after another depot on Park Lane was closed in October last year.

Residents also complained that the council’s decision to scrap the free garden waste collection had worsened the problem.

But the council said there had been a spike in demand for the waste depot – which is run by North London Waste Authority – as it was the first hot weekend of the year and people had been working on their gardens.

Twitter user oms said: “@haringeycouncil absolute shambles at your Western Road recycling centre. Queues at least 45mins long. All because Haringey Council have removed green waste collection.

“Not very well thought out was it? Another sign of vital council services being cut #haringeycouncil.”

Martin Ball, who lives in Park Lane, Tottenham, blamed the situation on the council’s “failure to just focus on basic services”.

He said: “It has just been a big-picture regeneration agenda rather than a practical, do-able, fundable solution to encourage good recycling rates and people to use the facilities more.

“When they closed the one just down the road in Tottenham, the information was redirecting people to facilities out of the borough. They were putting extra demand on one facility.

“They were saying ‘go to Walthamstow or Enfield’ rather than questioning a stupid policy of closing recycling down when it is needed and people should be recycling more.”

Mr Ball also called for more modern facilities that do not require people to climb steps up to containers to dump their waste and pointed out that the council’s regeneration plans would pile more demand on the centre.

The Park Lane depot was closed as part of the council’s plan to save £20 million by 2019 following cuts to funding from central government.

The need to make savings also lay behind the council’s decision to roll out a £75-per-year charge for green waste collection – a move that has been made by other local authorities.

A spokeswoman for Haringey Council said: “Like many reuse and recycling centres across the country, Western Road saw a spike in demand last weekend due to it being the first hot weekend of the year.

“Western Road is larger and more modern than the old Park View Road site, which, for many years, was the only centre in Haringey. It is one of many centres in North London that our residents can use for free and there is a list available on our website.”