30 January 2019 by Joshua Doherty

Surrey to review planned HWRC closures

Surrey council has announced that it will halt the planned closure of four Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) while it “reviews the waste and recycling service” across the county.

Surrey County Hall, where councillors met this week proposed savings

This came after the council said it had ‘carefully listened’ to resident feedback on the proposals, and would also allow the council to analyse the potential impact of the government’s Waste and Resources Strategy on its own services.

The move to halt site closures was announced by the council leader Tim Oliver yesterday (January 29) ahead of a meeting of the council’s full cabinet, where councillors discussed potential cuts to services in order to make savings of up to £200 million by 2021.

Surrey council launched a nine week consultation in October 2018 on the cost saving proposals, which ended on January 4 and also included closure to children’s centres, bus cuts and library closures.

The plans proposed the closure of four of the council’s 15 HWRCs in Bagshot, Cranleigh, Dorking and Warlingham.

Consultation

From the consultation, around 12,000 responses were received from residents on the potential impact of HWRC closures. Over half of those surveyed opposed plans to close the four sites.

Cllr Oliver said that after “listening carefully” to consultation feedback, the halt of the closures will allow the council to review the service it offers.

Council leader Cllr Tim Oliver said further consideration would be given to the future of HWRCs (Picture: Surrey CC)

In a statement, yesterday, Cllr Oliver said: “Having listened carefully to the feedback, Mike Goodman, cabinet member for environment and waste, will this afternoon table a change to the published proposal for recycling centres.

“The changed proposal will be no closures pending a thorough review of Surrey’s waste and recycling service, allowing us in particular to pick up the details of the government’s Strategy, which was released only after the consultation went public.

“Any changes must improve sustainability and effectiveness of the service for residents, and any closures in the future must be in this context.”

A programme of cost saving initiatives at the county’s HWRCs have been introduced since 2015/16 and have delivered around £2.5 million of savings, according to the council. This has included charges for non-household waste items at a number of its sites – although the measure has faced some opposition (see letsrecycle.com story)

Surrey’s HWRCs are run by Suez, with the sites handling in excess of 140,000 tonnes of waste per year.

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