Agenda item

Household Recycling Centres in Wiltshire

A presentation will be given by Members and Officers of Wiltshire Council on Household Recycling Centres in Wiltshire.


Cllrs Toby Sturgis and Jerry Wickham outlined the reasoning for closing the Everleigh Household Recycling Centre.


Points made by Cllr Toby Sturgis included:


Wiltshire Council – budget context


        Wiltshire Council currently spends around £900 million each year on more than 350 services.


        Changing demographics, such as people living longer, coupled with rising inflation and ongoing cuts in funding from central government mean significant savings continue to need to be found.


        This year the council received £104 million from the Government – next year we anticipate will get £91.6 million. This cut of more than £12 million, combined with the rise in demand for some key front line services and inflation costs, means the council needs to find a further £24 million of savings this financial year.


        Unfortunately due to the budget situation the council faces, we have been forced to consider further savings from all council services.



Wiltshire Council’s statutory duty


        Section 51 Environmental Protection Act 1990.


        Waste Disposal Authorities must provide places where persons resident in its area may deposit their household waste, free of charge.


        Each place to be situated either within the area of the authority or so as to be reasonably accessible to persons resident in its area.



Other constraints


        Government carried out consultation in 2015.  Legislation now prevents local authorities for charging residents for entry to use household recycling centres.


        Any council’s/authorities that charge for entry will have to provide free access to their residents from 2020.


        Can charge non-householders (e.g. Charities) to use sites, or charge householders for non-household waste (e.g. Tyres, soil and rubble) - our HRCs or online payment systems not currently configured to achieve this.




        Many other authorities issue permits or have other limitations on entry.  Wiltshire is also considering similar approaches.



Other councils changing their HRCs provision


        Oxfordshire – Closed their smallest site in 2011, now consulting on reducing sites from 7 to 14.


        Staffordshire – Proposed reduction from 14 sites to 12.


        Norfolk – Closing one site, reducing days of opening at three sites and reducing hours.


        Hampshire – Consultation on proposals, including closing two sites.


        Surrey – Proposal agreed to reduce opening hours.


        Lincolnshire – Reduced hours and days (now open four days per week).


The current Wiltshire HRC network


        11 sites (1 per 19,242 households av.)


        Opening hours reduced from July 2015, and now open 5 days per week instead of 7.  Hours also now reduced from 9-5pm, to 10-4pm.


        Staggered closures mean 1 site remains available all week in each of the former Wiltshire district areas.


        Currently no charges for non-household items, or restrictions on access (permits).  Now under consideration in Wiltshire.





        Do not anticipate increase as a result of householders deciding to dump waste if a site were to close.


        Most waste would be likely to be taken to other HRCs.


        Flytipping is illegal, and majority of householders are law abiding.


        Majority of flytipping is of a scale and nature that suggests it is from commercial sources (commercial waste not accepted at HRCs).



        Cost of clearing fly tips @ £29 per car boot load.  Received approx 745 reports of fly tips of loads suitable for a HRC (i.e. not commercial) in 2014/15.  Cost approx £21,605 to clear.



Summary of proposal


        The council acknowledges queues at start of day at many HRC sites following reduction of opening hours and days.


        Wish to provide extra hours over the summer (April – Oct) for 94% of Wiltshire residents and users of the HRCs.


        Recognises the very low usage at Everleigh in terms of tonnages and visitor numbers.


        Provides an opportunity to reduce HRC sites by 1 and fund additional hour opening for remaining HRCs at their busiest times.


        Benefits the majority of HRC users, and increases availability at other sites.


        Closing Everleigh would save £135k per year.  £60k would be utilised to provide an extra hour at the remaining 10 sites.


        Not out of step with neighbouring authorities.


        Suitable alternative sites exist within 20 minute drive time.



Cllr Jerry Wickham then outlined the data sheets (tables 1-7) which had been given to attendees as part of their agenda packs. These data tables were displayed as part of the power point presentation.


The Chairman thanked Councillor Sturgis and Wickham for their presentations.

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