Now tips face the county axe

ROMSEY’S household waste recycling centre at Timsbury could be axed in a cost-cutting move planned by Hampshire County Council.

The council is considering closing one or more of Hampshire’s 24 sites, which cost around £10 million a year to run.

A public consultation has been launched to give residents a say on the long-term future of the tips, where people can dump bulky household rubbish and garden waste that is too large to go in wheelie bins, dustbins and green bags.

County officials will be reviewing the locations of all household waste sites, how often they are used and whether they are sustainable.

They will also be looking at ways of reducing the amount of trade waste ‘wrongly disposed’ of at tips.

This includes issuing licences to small businesses and charging them for disposing of their waste and recovering the costs of disposing bulky waste and hazardous DIY materials such as soil, plasterboard, asbestos and rubble, which is not classed as household waste.

Officials will also be reviewing opening times at all sites in a bid to reduce management costs and plan to work with charities and communities to encourage the reuse of furniture and other items in a bid to cut down on the amount of discarded materials taken to tips for disposal.

However, Hampshire’s Romsey division member, Councillor Mark Cooper, believes that any cuts would be detrimental to the area’s residents.

“It’s very important that Timsbury HWRC stays open, firstly because it is convenient for Romsey residents, secondly it is both busy and popular, thirdly, it has only recently been expensively refurbished and lastly having to travel a long distance to an alternative HWRC would create a large number of longer vehicle trips which will generate CO2 outputs which would counteract the benefits of recycling,” he warned.

Hampshire’s cabinet spokesman for the environment, transport and the economy, Sean Woodward, said the authority was looking at different and innovative options for running the service.

“Services across the council have to find savings and this is no exception. We have some options that would either save money or generate income to offset costs, to ensure the service is sustainable in the long-term. What we do need to know from Hampshire’s residents is what they think of these options and hear what’s the most important to people,” said Cllr Woodward. Hampshire residents have until Friday, August 22, to make their views known. Questionnaires are available from Test Valley Borough Council’s offices in Romsey and Andover and also at libraries across the county. People can also go online to hants.gov.uk/ recycling.

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