Plans by Hampshire County Council to close tips, including Marchwood facility, blasted by Cllr David Harrison, who fears ‘widespread’ flytipping
The potential closure of a New Forest household waste and recycling centre would be “a complete disaster” for the area, a councillor has warned.
The site at Marchwood is one of 12 under threat, with Hampshire County Council announcing a consultation looking at their future.
David Harrison, a Lib Dem town, district and county councillor, said flytipping would increase if the tip were to close.
The proposal is part of the council’s plan to meet the forecasted £132m budget shortfall by April 2025, with all departments asked to reduce costs and provide the legal minimum of services required by law.
The council has identified five sites in other areas of the county which are the smallest and poorest performers, which it says closing could save around £500,000 per year.
Closures at a further seven sites, including Marchwood, due to “operational changes and investment requirements” would net the council savings of £1.6m per year.
Cllr Harrison told the A&T: “The closure of the Marchwood facility would be a complete disaster for the area.
“No sooner had we had the news that householders can tip building/DIY rubble for free, we have the prospect of the tip closing completely.
“I have absolutely no doubt it will lead to widespread tipping everywhere, especially green waste from gardens.
“What sort of governance do we have when Hampshire County Council is forced to choose between keeping essential facilities like this open and caring properly for children and vulnerable adults?”
Alternative ways to save money suggested by the council include reducing the opening hours of centres by 57%, which it estimates would save £1.2m.
The disposal of expensive waste types, such as soil and rubble, could be limited to a few designated sites, and waste containers for rarely deposited waste types could be removed to free up space.
Additionally, some waste management sites could become “recycling only” by restricting the deposit of non-recyclable materials such as household waste.
The county council says it is also “exploring” new ways for introducing new fees, such as a premium booking slot which would provide access outside of the standard operating hours, or the sale of chargeable items like gloves or sacks on site.
The authority admits that closing some sites may impact employees, which Veolia manages on behalf of the council, and there could be job losses.
If given the go-ahead, changes are expected to be brought in from summer next year.
Hampshire’s network of tips is the largest in England, with 24 sites of different sizes, accessibility and levels of efficiency, costing more than £10m a year to operate.
In 2022/23, Hampshire residents made more than 2 million bookings to deposit nearly 120,000 tonnes of household waste across the network.
Public consultation on the plans is open for residents until 31st March. To take part, visit https://hampshirecc.welcomesyourfeedback.net/s/FSC