Farnham’s recycling centre is under threat

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We’re constantly told that it’s good to recycle our waste where we can, however the of closing of local facilities that enable us to do this means that many do not. Hence, surrounding areas begin to see an increase in fly-tipping.

The latest news from our neighbours in Farnham is that their recycling centre is now under threat.

The below press article is taken from The Herald online, which also includes details of how you can oppose the closure:

THE Herald has launched a Don’t Dump the Dump campaign today – backing widespread calls of residents and councillors to save Farnham’s threatened community recycling centre.

Surrey County Council is currently consulting on further cuts to the county’s tips – with two of the three proposed cost-cutting options involving the permanent closure of six “smaller, less effective” community recycling centres across the county, including Bourne Mill in Farnham.

More than 1,500 people have since signed a petition objecting to the closure of Farnham’s tip (details below), while councillors also expressed disgust at Surrey’s proposals at a meeting of Waverley’s watchdog overview and scrutiny committee on Monday.

Waverley’s head of environmental services Richard Homewood confirmed on Monday the council witnessed an upsurge in fly-tipping incidents after Surrey reduced the opening hours and ended the free daily allowance of chargeable non-household waste at Farnham’s tip last autumn.

And chief among the concerns of residents and elected representatives is further cuts could add to the spike in illegal fly-tipping.

“The potential impact of closing two sites in Waverley – Farnham and Cranleigh – is far greater than changes in opening hours,” Mr Homewood told councillors.

“People have to drive another 10 miles – and people in Farnham won’t want to drive to Waverley’s only remaining CRC in Witley. It will mean our reject rates will go through the roof and we could see a lot more fly-tipping. These proposals could have a very significant impact.”

Farnham Residents opposition councillor Jerry Hyman agreed the closure was a “big issue for Farnham and Cranleigh”, commenting Farnham residents could choose to use recycling sites across the Hampshire border, impacting on neighbouring authorities.

“We must encourage people to respond to consultation in their thousands,” he said.

Tory councillor for Hindhead Peter Isherwood queried the impact on air quality if residents are forced to drive a distance to their nearest CRC, adding: “Bordon is about to introduce a £5 charge if you don’t live in Bordon. The idea of closing the Farnham site is absolutely mad.”

But Wyatt Ramsdale, Tory borough councillor for Rowledge and county member for Farnham North, said: “Surrey County Council hasto find money from somewhere.This is a consultation. I’ve objected to the Farnham closure but we need to come up with solutions.”

He suggested using any capital generated by the sale of the Bourne Mill CRC “to find a better site” elsewhere, as well as switching from black bin bags to clear plastic ones “to make it easier to spot builders’ waste”.

Responding, Mr Homewood said he understood the financial pressures on the county council, “but savings for Surrey will increase costs for Waverley. It will save Surrey operating costs but there will be more clearing-up costs.”

Encouraging residents to respond to Surrey’s consulation, Waverley’s portfolio holder for the environment Andrew Bolton said: “We must encourage the largest possible response from councillors and residents. Surrey listens to numbers.”

According to the latest government figures, 615 fly-tipping incidents were reported to Waverley Borough Council in 2017/18 – costing taxpayers £30,000 in removal costs, a 43 per cent increase on the costs Waverley suffered in 2015/16.

In the past 12 months, Waverley has issued 36 fixed-penalty notices to people who fly-tipped.

The Herald has asked Surrey County Council how much it cost the council to operate Farnham’s CRC in 2017/18, and how much (if any) revenue the tip generated – but is yet to receive a response.

Waverley leader Julia Potts was another of those to voice “real concerns” that fly-tipping could increase as a result of cutbacks at Farnham’s recycling centre in 2017.

Responding to the latest threat to the service this week, Miss Potts said: “We have consistently raised our concerns with Surrey at officer, portfolio holder and leadership levels that by closing all but one of the community recycling centres in Waverley there will be a negative impact on residents and the environment, ie additional pollution and vehicles on the rural roads. We are hearing many concerns from our residents and will be responding in detail to the consultation.”

As well as welcoming responses to its consultation online at surreysays.co.uk, Surrey is hosting a number of drop-in sessions for residents to quiz officers in person.

No drop-in has yet been scheduled for Farnham, however, with the nearest session set to take place in the Wilfrid Noyce Community Centre, Godalming, from 10am to noon on December 12.

Surrey’s consultation runs until 11.59pm on January 4.

As well as completing Surrey’s survey online at surreysays.co.uk, Herald readers are encouraged to sign Farnham resident Yolande Hesse’s petition at tinyurl.com/ya45gj32 and express their concerns in writing to their county councillor.

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