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Recycling centres have their place in big society

Eight of Warwickshire County Council’s nine Household Waste Recycling Centres will remain open seven days a week, following a review into the service.

The other site, Stockton near Southam, will become one of Britain’s first recycling centres run by the voluntary sector along with Wellesbourne.

The future delivery of the service will see the Government’s Big Society agenda implemented locally at Wellesbourne and Stockton where the community will help run the sites while enabling seven day opening to remain at the eight busiest sites. The voluntary organisation will be announced in the coming weeks.

Under the new arrangements Grendon in North Warwickshire, Hunters Lane in Rugby, Cherry Orchard in Kenilworth, Princes Drive in Leamington, Burton Farm in Stratford and Shipston will be operated directly by Warwickshire County Council with weekday opening reduced to six hours a day. Shipston, Lower House Farm – the North Warwickshire replacement for Grendon – and Cherry Orchard have re-use shops which will be run by the same voluntary sector organisation for the benefit of the community, while Nuneaton will have a new facility built and operated by the private sector.

Cllr Alan Cockburn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Communities and Chair of the Warwickshire Waste Partnership, said: "To enable the best possible service provision within the budget savings that had to be made, a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to find new and innovative ways to deliver our Household Waste Recycling Centre service.

"A final decision has now been made into the delivery of the service, utilising the private sector, the voluntary sector and Warwickshire County Council direct services. We are particularly excited about delivering the Government’s big society vision by welcoming the voluntary sector to help run two of our sites in the community.

"This will be the one of the first such schemes in the country and we are justifiably proud that we have managed to secure an agreement with an organisation which will mean that we can keep open all our existing recycling centres and maintain a seven-day a week service at eight of the nine sites."

The review of Household Waste Recycling Centres was initiated after budget reductions required an £800,000 saving by 2012 to cover all nine sites and the disposal of green waste and recycling that comes from them. In addition the county council must make a further £143,500 saving through an open bag policy which will be introduced on site to reduce non recyclable waste.

The county council would still maintain overarching control of all the sites, including provision of technical and management support.

A four week public consultation will begin at the end of June to gain both of the stakeholders and partners views on the changes in opening times and potential new policies on site. The consultation will be available on the county council’s internet site or via paper copies.

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