Fear Over Recycling Centres Future

Essex County Council considering charging for certain waste types and “removing latent capacity”

Essex County Council is to review its 21 Recycling Centres in 2015/16 with a view to “assessing the potential to remove latent capacity within the system and adjust operating practices, charging for the disposal of waste types that are not classified as household waste … eg DIY waste … subject to consultation”.

The proposal was set out in the papers presented to the Cabinet meeting of 27th January (pages 65 and 66).

Green Councillors on Essex County Council have consistently voiced concerns about moves by the County Council to reduce the service provided by Recycling Centres and now it appears that the authority is considering charging for certain waste types.
Cllr. Steven Neville, Green Party Councillor on Epping Forest District Council said

“Recycling Centres are an important resource for Essex, giving residents the opportunity to safely dispose of waste and they offer a wide range of facilities to recycle, above and beyond kerbside collections.

At this stage we do not know what options the County Council will put forward, but we do know that closing Recycling Centres, reducing the hours and charging will all increase the risks that waste is fly-tipped, which will increase the burden on the district,which have a duty to clear it up. So “savings” that ECC might think it is making could actually increase costs for other authorities – costs which will still fall on council tax payers or landowners faced with clear up bills.

There is also a question as to how charging would actually work. Does it mean that staff at Recycling Centres would have to go through all the waste being brought in by residents to see if it falls into the chargeable categories ? That could lead to queues and disputes about waste types.

We need to be increasing, not decreasing, the opportunities for residents to recycle so that waste does not end up in landfill, incinerators, or being fly-tipped. ”

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