Plans to achieve greater value for money for taxpayers from Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) without compromising the service they get have been signed off by Surrey County Council.
Proposals include retaining all CRCs and only closing centres at their quietest times to fit in with demand.
Planned new charges would only apply to residents dropping off tyres, large gas bottles and larger loads of non-household waste such as rubble and plasterboard and would be intended to help recoup the £1.3million annual cost to Surrey taxpayers of disposing of these materials.
The plans were developed as the council strives to continue providing a high-quality waste service in the face of growing financial pressures.
They were drawn up following a 11-week consultation which asked Surrey residents for their views on ways to save up to £1.8million and were considered by the county council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 24 November.
Mike Goodman, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, said: ‘We have listened to what people have told us and while we need to make savings due to the huge financial pressures we face, we have been able to put forward proposals which maintain a full network of Community Recycling Centres. By fitting opening hours around demand we will achieve better value for money from these centres and ensure we continue to offer a high-quality service.’
Under the plans, all Surrey’s 15 CRCs would be retained. They would open a little later in the morning and close a little earlier in the evening – their quietest times. Some centres would close for one day per week in line with demand but many would remain open seven days a week so some sites were always available to residents.
Reuse shops will be opened where possible at CRCs so that unwanted items can be sold on and reused, generating income and reducing disposal costs.
The council has already made savings at CRCs by recycling more of the waste that’s dropped off at them and introducing a permit scheme to stop businesses using them for free.