BREAKING NEWS: Cuts to opening days and hours at rubbish tips set to go ahead

The entrance to a rubbish tip in West Sussex
The entrance to a rubbish tip in West Sussex

Plans to close several West Sussex rubbish tips for two days a week and cut their overall opening hours generated almost 5,000 consultation responses, the most ever recorded by the county council.

Earlier this year West Sussex County Council unveiled proposals to close Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRSs) at East Grinstead, Horsham, Billingshurst, Midhurst, Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, Worthing and Shoreham for two days a week.

The tips at Crawley, Burgess Hill and Westhampnett would remain open seven days a week, but the opening hours of the rubbish tips would also be cut, while the mobile HWRSs in operation across the Chichester district were set to be axed completely.

The 4,899 comments during the consultation was the ‘highest number of responses received to a WSCC public consultation so far on record’.

The cabinet member for residents’ services has now published amended proposals.

Rather than have every site open from 8.30am-4.30pm, he has now proposed that during summer the sites will be open from 10am-7pm and in winter from 10am-5pm.

The mobile HWRSs at Selsey and The Witterings have been given a reprieve, to take into account the distance of these areas to the nearest permanent HWRS at Westhampnett.

This service would operate on an alternate fortnightly basis a day each fortnight.

The other sites in Bosham, Hambrook, South Harting, Petworth, Fernhurst, Kirdford, Lurgashall and Wisborough Green would be closed.

The two days a week that some permanent sites are due to be closed for has also been changed.

Billingshurst was set to be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday with Hop Oast closed on Thursday and Friday. These have now been swapped, while Midhurst’s HWRS was due to close on Monday and Sunday.

This has now been changed to Monday and Tuesday.

The other concession is the creation of an enforcement team of two officers to support existing enforcement measures carried out by district and borough councils for an interim period of two years to deal with concerns around fly tipping, and if successful could then be funded by the Strategic Waste Officers Group.

The amended proposals are due to be discussed by WSCC’s Environmental and Community Services Select Committee on Friday (July 8).

During the consultation residents were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the proposals to cut the days of operation at several HWRSs.

Of the responses 330 strongly agreed, 1,479 agreed, 1,100 neither agreed nor disagreed, 1,000 disagreed, and 987 strongly disagreed, with three not answering.

On the changes to opening times 1,792 supported the changes to 8.30am-4.30am at all sites, 130 supported the opening times starting and finishing earlier, 1,514 supported a later start and finish, while 1,436 did not support the changes.

Meanwhile 55 had no opinion, while two did not answer.

A total of 973 made a specific comment about the need for later opening hours, 406 mentioned an increase in traffic, and 375 raised fly tipping.

On the mobile HWRSs, only 770 of the survey respondents said they actually used the service, and while 2,191 respondents neither agreed nor disagreed with closing the sites, 480 strongly agreed, 801 agreed, but 572 disagreed, and 882 strongly disagreed, with three not answering the question.

Other proposed changes would see the tips charge to dispose non-household waste such as soil, hard-core, plasterboard and car and van tyres, as this costs the county council around £600,000 a year.

A charge of £4 per bag and the same per tyre would be introduced.

A total of 454 people strongly agreed, 1,127 agreed, 570 neither agreed or disagreed, 1,129 disagreed, and 1,616 strongly disagreed.

Lorry, tractor and mobile plant tyres would no longer be accepted.

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