Recycling centre service is achieving significant cost savings after introduction of changes

A report published today ahead of a meeting of Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet on 9 September gives a chance to see the early results of the changes to the county’s household recycling centre (HRC) service that were brought in on 1 April in order to achieve necessary cost savings for the council.

The report shows that a big rush in March to get non-household waste to HRCs ahead of charging meant that there was a reduction in the waste being received over the following months. However, the amount of waste is now beginning to return to expected levels, and the financial forecasts show that the service is on target to make the necessary budget savings.

This means that Bill Chapple OBE, the County Council Cabinet Member for Planning & Environment, is able to make the recommendation to Cabinet that the planned closure of Burnham HRC no longer takes place – the decision on this will be made at the meeting on 9 September.

Further good news is that the introduction of charges for non-household waste and the reduction of opening days at Burnham, Chesham and Aylesbury (Rabans Lane) HRCs have not resulted in any increase in fly tipping in the county. Although evidence from other parts of the UK indicated that illegal dumping would not increase due to service changes, there were understandable fears among members of the public that the changes – especially charging – would lead people to fly tip.

Bill Chapple commented: “It’s still early days, but the indications are that the changes that we had to make to the county’s household recycling centre service are having the desired result in terms of cost savings achieved. That’s why I’m really pleased to be able to make the recommendation to Cabinet that the closure of Burnham recycling centre is no longer required in order to meet our financial targets.

“Although the introduction of charges for non-household waste is not something we wanted to have to bring in, the process of charging is bedding in well, and not leading to inconvenience for visitors to the recycling centres. And although people to now have to pay to dispose of their non-household waste, the cost isn’t onerous – 75% of the waste brought to our sites counts as household waste and is completely free to dispose of, and the average transaction for the chargeable waste is just £8.

“And or course I’m pleased to be able to report that the changes haven’t led to an increase in fly tipping – though this is something we’ll continue to keep a close eye on.”

Read and download the report here: