Five remaining community waste recycling centres - in Soham, Ely, Cheveley and Chippenham - set to be closed by East Cambs Council
PUBLISHED: 11:49 09 September 2019
Five remaining neighbourhood recycling centres run by East Cambridgeshire District Council are likely to be closed.
It follows an earlier decision to remove 30 lesser used bins from the rest of the district but to retain a handful of them.
Now those at Tesco's, Ely, Waitrose, Ely, Fountain Lane, Soham, Chippenham village hall and Cheveley recreation ground could all be withdrawn.
Between them the five sites have 26 large mixed dry recyclable bins - known as bring banks - and accept the same materials as kerbside collections.
Darren Hughes, waste minimisation officer, has told the operational services committee that before the introduction of a kerbside recycling scheme the bring banks enabled residents to dispose of recyclable waste responsibly.
Since then and with the option now to buy an extra blue bin for £25, demand had lessened. More than 1,000 extra bins have been bought.
He said the council would not be directly affected financially by the decision but as East Cambs is the only shareholder of the East Cambs Street Scene (ECSS) there would be implications that could impact on future waste provision.
"Over the previous 12 months ECSS has monitored the bring banks sites for levels of recycling, incidents of fly-tipping and contamination or vandalism to the banks," he said.
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"Crews have reported that residents have broken the locks to get into the bins to enable them to put in full black sacks or contaminated materials.
"If ECSS were to continue to be responsible for the collection and management of the bring bank sites an initial investment of £26,000 would have to be made."
He said this would pay for "more robust bins" with tougher locking mechanisms, at £1,000 per unit, to reduce the risk of contamination due to residents breaking the locks "to dispose of non-target material".
In the past year it has cost ECSS over £35,000 to provide the service and this could nearly double in the next year to take account of the one off cost of buying new bins with more robust locking mechanisms.
Mr Hughes said that fly-tipping continues to be a serious problem across the sites and there have been five investigations leading to two fixed penalty notices.
In addition there had been numerous reports of fly tipping at the sites with staff switched from otter duties to clean up.
Cheveley parish has told the council they would be happy for the bring banks to be removed whilst Chippenham parish council said they would not pay for them to stay.
Soham Town Council says the bring banks are popular but CCTV will help with enforcement whilst Ely City Council also said they would not be willing to contribute to costs.