Recycling site closure plans spark concerns

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COUNCIL bosses have named the seven household waste recycling centres earmarked for closure – sparking fears of increased fly tipping.

Suffolk County Council plans to close sites in Ingham, Beccles, Bramford, Brome, Chelmondiston, Newmarket and Southwold on May 9.

The proposals will help to save £2.3 million from this year’s budget and a decision was due to be made yesterday.

Centres in Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Foxhall, Hadleigh, Haverhill, Ipswich, Leiston, Lowestoft, Mildenhall, Stowmarket and Sudbury will remain open but operate at reduced hours from April 1.

From April to September, they will operate 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, 9am to 4pm Monday to Saturday from October to March and all year round on Sundays and bank holidays from 10am to 4pm.

Sites in Bury and Ipswich will also accept trade waste for a charge.

However, concerns have been raised that the move will result in increased fly tipping.

John Matthissen, Green Party councillor for Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “People will be much further way from their nearest household waste recycling centre.

“It’s going to depress recycling and increase the costs of picking up fly tipping.

“It’s transferring the costs from the county onto the districts and goes against the grain of their greenest county aspirations.

“We will be making every effort to try to mitigate the damage.”

Cllr Lisa Chambers, portfolio holder for waste for the county council, said they aimed to ensure the majority of residents could get to a site in about 20 minutes drive time.

She added: “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.

“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.”