The consultation that is currently taking place to determine how savings will be made on future waste disposal and rubbish removals services in Hertfordshire has generated some strident opposition among local residents.
The council has been asking for comments on its plans to reduce the opening hours of many waste disposal sites across the county, and to close the recycling centre in Elstree completely. The changes have been proposed in order to reduce the amount that is being spent on waste disposal in the county. A new company, AmeyCespa will be taking on the council’s rubbish removals operations at local disposal sites in October, and the changes are planned to take place under the new management.
The main opposition to the proposed changes comes from those who feel that it would be a make to close down the disposal site at Elstree. Nearly 1300 people have so far signed a petition against the closure of the site. The petition was set up by two local councillors, Morris Bright and Harvey Cohen, who believe that other options need to be considered. Closing the site could save the council about £160,000 a year, but it might still be possible to make significant savings by cutting the opening hours for the site, as has been suggested for other disposal centres in the county. Keeping the site open might help to encourage people who would be put off by the longer travelling times to reach other centres to continue recycling rather than simply giving up and adding their recyclable waste to their bins.
Concerns have also been raised about the impact that the closure and reduced opening hours could have on flytipping in the county. Ensuring that people have easy access to the right rubbish removals and recycling services is essential if we are going to protect the environment. Rubbish removals services that pick up waste can help people to cope with long distances or shorter opening hours, but we still need to make disposal sites accessible to people.
According to local Councillor Terry Douris, the council’s waste management team are open to hearing what local people have to say about the proposed changed. The Councillor assured the Watford Observer that the council was very aware of the opposition to the proposed closure of Elstree recycling centre, and that no decisions had been made yet. Refinements could be made to the proposed plans once the consultation period has been completed.