Devon County Council is proposing to cut back on opening hours at its recycling centres, as well as closing Holsworthy and South Molton during the week, in an effort to save money.
PLANS to cut back the hours of recycling centres in North Devon have been described as ‘short sighted’.
Devon County Council is proposing to reduce the opening hours of the household waste sites by two hours a day on week days in the summer and an hour in winter.
The sites at Holsworthy and South Molton would only be open at weekends, plus the council is seeking to do away with a temporary recycling centre for bulky waste at Lynton that visits four times a year.
An email to county councillors entitled ‘Tough Choices – Waste Management Service’ said the raft of measures would save £1.2million in 2014-15.
North Devon Councillor Rodney Cann, who is the executive member for waste and recycling, has condemned the proposals which he says will simply leave the district councils – and the tax payer – picking up the bill.
“I am deeply concerned about this latest cut back by the county council, because I believe it will undoubtedly lead to an increase in fly tipping around our district,” he said.
“The reality is it will be the public purse that has to pay – it costs far more for the district council to clean up the mess than it does for the county council to pay for disposal.
“Since county imposed charges for disposing of materials at recycling centres we have found more unauthorised items in black wheelie bins and an increase in fly tipping as people look for ways to avoid paying.”
Mr Cann said he was also concerned at the proposals to remove the ‘much valued’ Lynton service: “I know the local county councillor has fought long and hard to have it installed,” he added.
“My message to the county council is to please think again.”
With further budget reductions expected in the following two years, the email also warned of possible additional measures, including extending charges to a wider variety of materials at recycling centres, restricting vehicle types that could visit the centres, plus potential contract re-negotiations and re-tendering.