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Fears planned dump closure could to lead to fly-tipping surge in Bushey
Residents are concerned that plans to close recycling sites and reduce opening hours by 44 percent will cause increased flytipping.
Hertfordshire County Council is considering closing two of its 17 recycling centres - including one in Allum Lane, Elstree.
In addition to the proposed closures, the council also wants to change the seven day service to a five day service and change opening times.
The suggestions have been put forward as a way to save £6 million in eight years, but Radlett resident Clive Glover said he worries it will lead to more flytipping.
He said: "It seems crazy to consider shutting the Elstree recycling centre as it serves a large number of people in Hertsmere.
"The alternative sites are a long way from here, in Potters Bar and St Albans so would lead to longer journeys for everyone, more traffic and more fuel usage - which is hardly environmentally friendly. I would fear it would also lead to more fly-tipping from less-responsible people"
The Elstree recycling centre handled 3,283 tonnes of waste during 2013/2014 with 2,572 tonnes, or 78%, being recycled.
The county council has proposed the changes after hiring a new contractor, AmeyCespa, to run their centres.
They have also suggested other changes to develop the service including having "mystery shopping exercises" to improve customer service, and trying to increase the amount of waste being recycled.
County Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group, has started a petition to prevent the "crazy" proposed changes.
He said: "That will not happen. This is crazy and if it goes ahead I can for see increased dumping in our streets.
"I have opened a web petition as a way of showing residents do not want the hours cut. It’s especially silly to close a site at 4pm at weekends. The busiest times are always late afternoon after residents have a weekend clear or sorting items to recycle or tip."
The county council said there is little evidence to support the view that closing recycling centres will have an impact on flytipping but will work closely with AmeyCespa and the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership to encourage residents to use the remaining 15 centres.
Terry Douris, cabinet member for highways and waste management, said: "Over the last four years, we have worked hard to deliver savings totalling £149m across the council while protecting essential frontline services.
"Due to further reductions in national funding and increasing demand for key services such as adult social care and children's services, the county council needs to save a further £147m over the next four years. If agreed, the changes suggested to our centres could mean that the service saves £6m over the next eight years.
"We’re aware that questions have already been raised about matters like opening hours, locations of other centres and fly tipping. The impact of the suggested changes has been considered and this information is available in the frequently asked questions section on our website.
"We want to create a more efficient and effective service which makes better use of your council tax."
To visit the county council’s consultation visit: www.hertsdirect.org/wastechanges