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No Hampshire HWRCs to close as County Council responds to residents

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  • Published: 12th July 2016
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No Hampshire HWRCs to close as County Council responds to residents

Consultation responses, analysis and evidence on the future of Hampshire's Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) are set to be examined at Hampshire County Council.

Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said: "I will be looking closely at the report and recommendations over the coming weeks but I am very pleased to see that it looks like a way has been developed to meet Hampshire residents' highest priority and keep all of Hampshire's 24 (HWRCs) open, while achieving the savings the County Council needs to make for this year.

"Hampshire has a large number of HWRCs compared with other Local Authorities, and with the continued reductions in Government funding, it's clear we simply cannot afford to carry on as before and provide this same seven-day-a-week level of service. We asked Hampshire residents what changes they would be willing to see to establish a financially sustainable way to run the HWRCs, and it was clear that their main priority was to retain their local site.

"Through a combination of contract renegotiations, reductions in opening hours and introducing specific charges, the report I will be considering at my Decision Day on 22 July details how we are going to be able to do this.

"No stone has been left unturned in finding ways to make ends meet to keep every one of Hampshire's HWRCs open. In order to do this, a number of changes will need to happen which include reducing opening hours through a later opening time (11am), while retaining the 6pm summer and 4pm winter closing times, closing all the HWRCs for one day in the week, and introducing a small charge for people from outside of Hampshire to allow them to continue using Hampshire's service.

"I realise that there is a concern that any changes to HWRC opening hours could increase fly-tipping which is both illegal and damaging to the environment, and I would like to reassure residents that we are working on new and robust tactics to tackle this. As the council responsible for the disposal of all waste in Hampshire, this includes fly-tipping collected by our district partners- in fact, the County Council pays around two thirds of the costs of dealing with fly-tipping - and so,  as well as environmental concerns, there is a financial imperative to tackle this problem.

"We are also looking to now implement changes which we first consulted on in 2014, to allow the HWRCs to accept, for the first time, waste from small businesses on a chargeable basis and also to make a small charge for residents disposing of 'DIY' construction-type waste which is expensive for the County Council to dispose of and is not classified as household waste.

"I am hopeful that all these components of savings and small charges mean that we can keep Hampshire's network of 24 sites, which is what residents have told us they want."

Materials classed as DIY construction waste include soil and rubble (including construction and demolition materials such as stone, rubble, clay, concrete, bricks, blocks, sand, tiles, paving slabs, and ceramic bathroom suites), plasterboard, asbestos, doors and windows, fitted kitchens, fitted wardrobes, tyres, gas canisters, garden sheds and wooden fence panels.

There will be no changes or charges for normal household waste, or recycling or green and garden waste. Household waste comprises of the unwanted contents of the house and not part of the house itself. Household waste excludes waste created from landscaping or garden alterations such as dismantling a rockery or digging up a patio/concrete hardstanding.

Close to 12,000 Hampshire residents responded to Hampshire County Council's recent public consultation on how savings could be made in the running of household waste recycling centres (HWRCs).

The report detailing the results of the consultation and recommendations will go to Hampshire County Council's Economy, Transport and Environment Select Committee on 19 July, and then to the Executive Member for Environment and Transports Decision Day on 22 July

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