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9/1/2012 - County council launches consultation on changes in provision of Household Waste Recycling Centres

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All consultation documents can be found through the following link -

http://www.opinionsuite.com/cumbria/cumbria-county-council/environment/hwrcthis external link will open in a new window

Cumbria County Council is asking the public for its views on proposals to reform the way it provides Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) in the county.

Driven by the necessity for the council to make savings, but also shaped by the change in people's waste disposal and recycling behaviour, the proposed changes would see the county's six least used and least efficient HWRCs close and be replaced by a mobile service.

The county council is also proposing to change the opening hours of the remaining HWRCs so they are open at the times when people use them most and properly reflect seasonal usage. This would reduce the number of days remaining sites are open from seven a week to five, but importantly HWRCs would stay open at weekends when they are used most. The third key proposal is to bring Cumbria into line with most other local authority areas and introduce a charge for waste classed as 'non-household waste', which local authorities are not legally obliged to accept at HWRCs and includes soil, rubble, asbestos, plasterboard and car tyres.

The changes, which would save 2m, would be the biggest overhaul in the provision of HWRCs Cumbria has ever gone through and ensure that all of Cumbria's remaining sites meet modern requirements. The county council is already committed to investing in a new state-of-the-art HWRC in Lillyhall which will replace the outdated sites at Workington and Lillyhall in 2013.

The proposals being consulted on follow a major review of the provision of HWRCs in Cumbria which found that the current network is inefficient in that a quarter of the current opening hours account for just 9% of the use. The review also found that Cumbria has one of the highest HWRC per head of population ratios of any rural local authority - nearly three times the ratio found in Cheshire or Lancashire. Cumbria currently spends nearly 40% more than other rural councils on waste services (56.05 per person per year compared with an average of 40.46).

The six sites identified by the review as most suitable for closure (Ambleside, Brampton, Grange, Kirkby Stephen, Millom and Wigton) only account for 15% of the total tonnage of waste handled at all of Cumbria's HWRCs and also have the smallest number of visitors.