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Budget Proposal 2024/25: Reduce opening hours at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)

Have your say.

Consultation status Results published
Start date: 2023-11-27
End date: 2024-01-11
Results 2024-02-29
Category:
Ward:

Activity closed. Results published.

Balanced scales

Background

As a Waste Disposal Authority, West Berkshire Council provides householders within the district access to two Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) where they can recycle, compost, or dispose of their own household waste. 

Our HWRCs are located at:

Both sites are currently open from 9am to 6pm, 7 days a week, 362 days a year (closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day). On Thursdays, between 1 April and 30 September, we offer late night opening at the Newtown Road site from 6pm to 8pm. Both sites have appointment booking system in operation. Appointments can be booked online or by calling our Customer Services team on 01635 551111. Last year 188,347 appointments were made by householders.

Over the past 12 months, 55% of all available appointments have been used. Over the weekend and bank holiday Mondays this increases to 79%. During the last late-night opening period, 60% of available appointments were booked.

Businesses, charities and sole traders are not permitted to dispose of their waste at either of the HWRCs and must arrange a commercial collection.

Householders from outside the district can access both sites by paying an entry fee upon arrival.


Legislation Requirements

Under the Refuse Disposal Amenity Act 1978, Waste Disposal Authorities are required to provide residents with reasonable access to places to dispose of their household waste. There is no requirement on how long HWRCs are open for or the number of facilities that residents have access to.  


What we are proposing

We are proposing to:

  • reduce the weekday (Monday to Friday) opening times, currently 9am to 6pm, of both HWRCs by two hours to 11am to 6pm 
  • remove the late-night opening hours (6pm to 8pm - Thursdays only) during the summer months at Newtown Road

Overall, this would create an estimated annual saving of £59,000.


What we think the impact will be

We think that this proposal will have the following impact:

  • while sites may be busier, there is already available capacity for visits Monday to Friday and during weekends - we do not expect any disruption or change to the visitor experience while on site
  • some residents may become frustrated as they may not be able to visit at a time most convenient to them, for example, between 9am and 11am Monday to Friday (excluding bank holiday Mondays)
  • a potential increase in the number of fly-tips across the district; however, the likelihood of this is relatively low, because the majority of fly-tipping is carried out by rogue traders, and not householders

Icon for pdf Please refer to the Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) for more details. [33KB]


What else we have considered before arriving at our proposal

We have considered having alternate opening days for the HWRCs, for example: Padworth open Mondays and Newtown Road open Tuesdays. We've also considered closing each site for two days between Monday and Friday, as well as closing one HWRC permanently. However, these considerations have not been put forward as they would create unworkable operational models, as well as being less favourable to, and having a more disruptive impact on, residents.


Why we want your views

We would like to know how these proposals might impact you and the wider community, and any views you have on how we can minimise the impact of these proposed changes, if the decision is taken to proceed with them.


How to take part

If you'd like to comment on these proposals, please complete our survey by midnight on Thursday, 11 January 2024. It should take about 10 minutes. 

If you have any questions about the consultation, please email environmentconsult@westberks.gov.uk.

For general enquiries about rubbish and recycling, please visit our webpage.

You can report problems on a road or pavement, or in parks, countryside and open space, including fly tipping, potholes and broken streetlights on our website.


What happens next

All the feedback we receive will be taken into consideration, and a final decision whether to proceed with these proposals will be made by elected Members at the Full Council Meeting to be held on Thursday, 29 February 2024.

If the decision is made to proceed with these proposals, the change will be implemented from 1 April 2024.

 

Back to the main Budget Proposal page

What you told us

In total, 190 responses were received via the online survey. We also received 3 additional written responses from the Labour Party, Basildon Parish and Tilehurst Parish Council.


A summary of the responses received is included in the agenda papers for each public meeting.

What we did

The budget for 2024/25 will be considered by councillors at the Executive meeting on Thursday, 8 February 2024, and then by Full Council on Thursday, 29 February 2024. It will also be discussed by members of the Special Scrutiny Commission on Tuesday, 6 February 2024.

All meetings will be open to the public and residents can attend either in person at the Market Street Offices or virtually.

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