Cabinet confirms decision to keep Burnham HRC open

Bill Chapple OBE

Cabinet today has confirmed that Burnham household waste and recycling centre (HRC) will remain open.

The overall success of the money-saving arrangements for the recycling centre service, reluctantly introduced by Cabinet at the beginning of the year, means that the proposed permanent closure of Burnham HRC is no longer required. However the reduction in opening days will continue in line with the other sites at Chesham and Aylesbury (Rabans Lane) with the site continuing to be closed on a Wednesday and Thursday.

Speaking after the Cabinet meeting today, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment, Bill Chapple OBE said he was pleased that no additional permanent site closures were required.

“Back in January, these were tough changes to introduce, particularly the charges for non-household waste, and we knew they would not be popular. That said, we are on track to achieve the cost savings that I needed to make over the longer term, so I’m delighted we can keep Burnham open.

“Following a huge communication exercise to advise residents of the changes earlier in the year, we saw a 50% increase in what would become chargeable waste coming into the sites during March before the deadline. We therefore knew we would be playing catch up and, although income remains lower than initially modelled, we are seeing a steady return as we and local residents get used to the new system.

“Can I take this opportunity to remind householders that around three-quarters of all waste is still completely free to take to our recycling centres. On the chargeable waste element, we are seeing an average cost of about £8 a visit, so only a small extra charge on your DIY type jobs.”

Despite concerns from the public, the charges haven’t led to an increase in fly tipping, although this is something the Council will continue to keep a very close eye on going forward.

Bill added: “People don’t just become fly tippers because of a small charge. In our experience most fly tipping relates to commercial and criminal activity where there was no intention to take in to a recycling centre in the first place. That’s why we will continue our zero-tolerance approach to prosecuting anyone who dares fly tip in Buckinghamshire.”