Report highlights huge public opposition to tip closures

Whittlesey Recycle centre. Picture: Steve Williams.

Whittlesey Recycle centre. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

More than eight in 10 people are totally opposed to the closure of any rubbish tips in Cambridgeshire.

A report to today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the county’s Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee highlights the high opposition to proposals to permanently close up to three household recycling sites as part of a massive cost cutting drive by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Results of a six week consultation together with an on site survey carried out at the nine waste recycling sites during the summer are included in the report in which committee members are asked to note the feedback so that it can be considered as part of a wider waste review.

The report states 83 per cent of those completing the survey totally disagree with any site closures with the figure rising to almost 100 per cent when it comes to closure of three sites.

However, the report points out people are happy to see permits introduced to prevent abuse of the service by trade such as the dumping of construction and demolition waste.

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There is also support for the idea of reduced opening hours or days to save money.

However, any closures or changes will land the council with a legal bill of between £50,000 and £300,000 for alterations to the council’s contract with waste site contractor AmeyCespa.

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Fears that site closures could result in more fly-tipping across the county were also raised by those responding to the consultation.

Fenland’s three tips at Whittlesey, March and Wisbech cost up to £470,000 a year to manage with Wisbech being the most expensive to operate at between £150,000 and £170,000.

The county council needs to save £149 million over the next five years and the report points out the consultation highlighted this and the fact that none of the six options categorised in the consultation will single-handedly deliver the level of savings needed. It also emphasised the need for a combination of options, including the permanent closure of up to three sites.

The large level of responses received during the consultation, including at Whittlesey which had one of the highest number, and the savings needed to be made led the report to recommend further consultation if a decision is eventually made to close sites prior to implementation.

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