Home recycling success could spell end for old "bring" sites

The success of a Derbyshire Dales household recycling scheme introduced almost four years ago could lead to the closure of the remaining 23 "bring" sites at car parks, pubs and shop premises in the district.

Since improved kerbside recycling collections were introduced in 2012 by your District Council and our contractor Serco, the quantity of material collected from bring sites has reduced by 75%.

Bakewell recycling centre signAlongside this, non-recyclable items are increasingly being dumped at the sites, resulting in 43% of the material being contaminated and disposed of at landfill – costly for the council and harmful to the environment.

Next week (14 January) the District Council's Community and Environment Committee will consider an offer of £20,000 by the contractor responsible for bring site management – HW Martin of Blackwell – for an early termination of the contract due to rising costs of running the service.

Two years ago it was agreed to reduce the number of bring sites in the Dales from 98 to 33 to enable HW Martin to continue to operate a reduced service at no cost to the District Council. It followed significant improvements to the kerbside scheme and a decision by Sainsbury's supermarkets, which have major stores in Ashbourne and Matlock, to take store recycling operations in-house across the country.

Since then, a further 10 sites have been lost due to landowners' reluctance to put up with the high rate of fly-tipping of general and trade waste.

Councillors will hear that 91% of residents now use the fortnightly kerbside recycling service, which generates more recycling material in a single month (530 tonnes) than is collected from the bring sites in an entire year.

Councillors could decide to accept the £20,000 compensation offer from HW Martin to end a contract that runs until 2020 - and close all remaining bring sites by the end of next month.

The recycling banks in Ashbourne's Shawcroft Car Park could be removed even earlier, to accommodate an improvement scheme that started on 6 January.

Next week's meeting will hear that an online bring site consultation in October and November last year resulted in 525 responses - together with a 428-name petition from Youlgrave Parish Council requesting that its local site be retained.

The consultation results revealed 78% of residents who responded used the bring sites for excess recycling waste. Council officers believe this is due to a lack of awareness across the district that excess recycling material, if contained and visible, can be placed at the side of usual bins and bags for collection.

Officers believe this message can be effectively communicated via an awareness campaign to encourage residents to recycle all their waste at home rather than duplicating the same service at bring sites.

The officer's report adds that residents will be able to continue to access household waste recycling centres at Darley Dale, Ashbourne, Chesterfield and Waterswallows, Buxton, as well as private sites at supermarkets.

It states advice would be offered to local people who struggle to store bins or where vehicular access is a problem. In such cases, alternative containers could be provided, together with assistance emptying containers to those who meet specified criteria.

  • The existing bring sites are located in Ashbourne, Ashford in the Water, Bakewell, Baslow, Bradley, Cromford, Curbar, Doveridge, Eyam, Flagg, Hartington, Hathersage, Hulland Ward, Marston Montgomery, Matlock, Matlock Bath, Monsal Head, Sudbury, Tideswell, Wirksworth and Youlgrave.

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