The end of summer is a popular time for a clear out, but getting rid of rubbish became a little bit more difficult for some of us this year, thanks to growing problems with queuing at local disposal sites. Many people who visited the busier waste and recycling centres, such as the one in Hemel Hempstead, found themselves waiting just to get in. The delays at the sites are partly due to the fact that we are in one of the busier periods of the year, but they may also be linked to the recent cut backs in opening hours at disposal sites across Hertfordshire.
Cutting Back on Waste Services
The cut backs are intended to significantly reduce costs for the council over the next few years, but they were initially intended to work by closing down some of the smaller sites rather than by reducing opening hours. The plan had to be changed after a consultation process revealed that local people were opposed to having any of the disposal sites closed down completely. The busy Hemel Hempstead site now opens five days a week, rather than seven, and its summer opening hours have also been cut by a couple of hours a day.
Investigating the Delays
Delays at the disposal sites have been more common this summer, after the reduced hours were put in place, and the council has now announced that it will review the situation in the face of growing numbers of complains. Hertfordshire County Council has seemed reluctant to admit that the problems might be linked to the cuts, according to the Gazette, but it has now accepted that the reduced hours may have exacerbated the problems caused by the busy period at the end of summer. The review will assess the impact that the recent changes to opening hours have had on the service, so we may soon see some new proposals for opening hours in the area. Residents who were opposed to the previously proposed closures will be hoping that the new solution will keep all of the sites open, even if the opening hours have to shift again.