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Town tip survives cull of county waste recycling centres

Wednesday, 16th February 2011.

The next thing likely to be culled by Suffolk County Council is its waste recycling centres - but Haverhill tip has survived the cut.

The council meets to set its budget tomorrow and one proposal being considered is the closure of seven of the its 18 household waste recycling centres and reduced opening hours at the remaining sites. This will contribute to a saving of £2.3 million from the waste services budget.

If the proposal is agreed, the seven sites to close on the May 9 are: Beccles, Bramford, Brome, Chelmondiston, Ingham, Newmarket and Southwold.

Sites to remain open will be: Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Foxhall, Hadleigh, Haverhill, Ipswich, Leiston, Lowestoft, Mildenhall, Stowmarket and Sudbury.

Cllr Lisa Chambers, the council's portfolio holder for waste, said: “Working with our contractors, careful consideration has been given to which sites could close and we have been especially mindful to keep a good spread of sites across our rural county, as we know this is important to residents here in Suffolk.

“Our aim is to make sure the vast majority of Suffolk residents can get to a site in around 20 minutes drive time. We have also looked at factors such as the number of people using each site, recycling rates and the costs of running them.

“We remain committed to reducing, reusing and recycling as much waste as possible. We are extremely proud that Suffolk residents have made this county one of the top recycling performers in the country, with over half our household waste recycled. We continue our ambitions to achieve 60 per cent recycling rate by 2015.”

The council recognises the need to keep sites open over the Easter weekend (usually one of the busiest) and for the extra bank holiday on 29 April, so any closures would not happen until 9 May.

In response to concerns about an increase in fly tipping, Cllr Chambers said: “Fly tipping is both anti-social and illegal. We’ll be working with our partners in Suffolk’s district and borough councils to prosecute anyone who breaks the law in this way and we will make sure the area around any closed sites is kept free of rubbish.”

If the proposals are agreed, from April 1 the new opening hours will be:
* April to September: 9am until 5pm – Monday to Saturday
* October to March: 9am until 4pm – Monday to Saturday
* All year round: 10am until 4pm - Sundays and bank holidays

The sites will close on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, as usual.

Currently businesses cannot use the sites but to help them by giving them more options for disposing of their waste, it is proposed that Foxhall (near Ipswich) and Bury St Edmunds, will accept trade waste, for a charge, from April 1.

This is a positive response to requests from small businesses and will be introduced initially on a trial basis.

It is hoped this will encourage more recycling of business waste, which currently stands at 25 per cent as opposed to over 50 per cent for household waste.

It will also provide income for the council to further support the household waste recycling centre service. Businesses are urged to check with the Environment Agency if they need a waste carrier’s licence before they arrive at the site.

There is advice on reducing and recycling waste on the website: www.suffolkrecycling.org.uk

Haverhill Online News

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