MP’s plea to save recycling centres
Last updated at 13:48, Tuesday, 24 January 2012
AN MP has called on the government to save recycling centres earmarked for closure.
Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron highlighted the plans to close Cumbrian recycling centres on the national stage in parliament on Friday.
Questioning environment minister Richard Benyon, Mr Farron voiced concerns about Cumbria County Council proposals to shut five household waste recycling centres serving a wide area in South Cumbria.
He argued they willincrease the amount of waste that goes to landfill and cost the council more in the long run.
In a consultation launched earlier this month, the council revealed its plans to close centres such as those at Grange and Ambleside, which Mr Farron believes will lead to greater amounts of waste going to landfill.
The council plans to replace the centres with a mobile service – which could visit as little as three times a year – to replace centres at Millom, Brampton, Kirkby Stephen, Wigton, while residents in Frizington would have to make a 40-minute round trip to a centre in Lillyhall.
Mr Farron said: “I urge the council to repeal its ridiculous plans. Unless they do, the flawed thinking behind these proposals could end up seriously damaging the environment, the council’s coffers and local people’s services.
“I am glad that the minister understands my concerns that the council needs to compensate for the loss of these centres – but the question remains: why close them in the first place? Local people have stated their case clearly. These centres are used, valued and important – something the council doesn’t seem to realise.”
The consultation runs until February 19. Moredetails can be found on the council’s website www.cumbria.gov.uk.
Information is also being made available at all 14 HWRCs, as well as libraries and council offices.
Cllr Tim Knowles, cabinet member responsible for environment, said: “Mr Farron is showing a fundamental misunderstanding of the way we deal with waste in Cumbria by attempting to make a simplistic argument that recycling will go down and landfilling will go up if we close these HWRCs.
“The reality is that we have a number of waste streams beyond HWRCs, all of which involve recycling.
“Cumbria currently has an inefficient waste system, where the average spend per head for collecting and disposing of waste is £56.05 per person compared with a national average of £40.36 per person.
“We therefore need to make our system more efficient by making the most of all our waste streams and closing those which are relatively underused and expensive to run.
“As an MP who voted for the Finance Bill which saw the largest reduction in funding to local authorities since World War Two, I’m sure Mr Farron will appreciate the need for councils to be more efficient.”
First published at 13:09, Tuesday, 24 January 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
the only change that closing recycling centres will encourage is more fly tipping
with it's attendant expense.