Two recycling centre could close with extended opening at others in Somerset (From Chard & Ilminster News)
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Two recycling centre could close with extended opening at others in Somerset
7:00pm Saturday 14th December 2013 in Somerset
FIVE of Somerset’s busiest recycling centres have been proposed for extended opening, but community recycling sites at Coleford and Middlezoy look likely to close.
The plan, proposed today by Somerset Waste Partnership's governing board, is part of efforts to meet savings targets required by Somerset County Council.
Under the county council’s medium term financial plan, Somerset Waste Partnership will have £711,900 less funding in 2014/2015, and total of £2,287,900 less over the next four years.
The plan will be open for public comment and considered by the county council and all five district councils before a final decision by the Somerset Waste Board on February 21.
If the plan is agreed by the 12 board members - two councillors each from the county and district councils - it will be introduced from April 1 next year.
In 2011, Coleford and Middlezoy Recycling Centres were among four smaller, less used sites redesignated as community recycling sites with £2 entry fees to meet calls by their local communities to avoid closures. Since then, their visitor numbers have declined.
Community representatives from Coleford and Middlezoy were advised of the potential impact of the county council savings at the end of October.
Closure of Coleford and Middlezoy’s sites, if approved, would affect around 850 visitors to each of the sites every month, as together they now account for less than 2% of all recycling site visits.
It is expected that extending opening at one or more of the busiest sites in each district, such as Bridgwater Saltlands, Frome, Minehead, Taunton Priorswood, and Yeovil, would benefit tens of thousands of residents.
It would also be likely to improve recycling levels and contribute to all councils' efforts to continue driving down the already falling rate of fly-tipping.
Somerset Waste Partnership managing director Steve Read said: “These are not easy decisions but SWP has to live within the budget its partners contribute, and users of Coleford and Middlezoy would have a choice of alternatives within a few miles.
“We appreciate this may, if agreed, cause some inconvenience to the committed recyclers of Coleford and Middlezoy.
"We hope they will be able to use one of the next most convenient sites, one of which in each district will be open extra hours as well as continuing to be free to use.
“Meanwhile, an expansion of days and hours at five or more sites could only help improve recycling and cut fly-tipping further.”
Anyone who wishes to comment about either of the proposed closures, should write to Somerset Waste Partnership, Monmouth House, Blackbrook Park Avenue, Taunton TA1 2PX.
Or e-mail (subject line 'Proposed closure Coleford' or 'Proposed closure Middlezoy') firstname.lastname@example.org
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