Everleigh Household Recycling Centre will close
"We have carefully weighed up all the options available to us and analysed all the data, and feel this is the most sensible outcome."Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for waste
Following a public consultation and careful consideration of the responses and other factors, Wiltshire Council has decided to close Everleigh Household Recycling Centre (HRC).
A number of factors influenced the final decision, including the amount of investment required to ensure the site continued to meet environmental standards, the fact the centre received significantly fewer visitors compared with all other Wiltshire household recycling centres, and the need to make savings. The availability of alternative sites also means the closure will impact fewer residents than closing any of the other sites.
The tonnes of waste and recycling collected at Evereigh, and the amount diverted from landfill is also the lowest of all 11 sites in Wiltshire.
National best practice guidance produced by the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) states that the majority of residents should be able to access a site within 30 minutes if living in a rural area and 20 minutes in an urban area. The majority of Wiltshire residents are able to access sites within these times, and would be able to continue to do so when Everleigh HRC closes. There are three neighbouring sites Marlborough, Devizes, and Amesbury, which residents who previously used Everleigh HRC could access.
The three month public consultation had a good response with around 1,300 residents providing feedback. Most did not want the site to close, although two-thirds of those respondents confirmed that its closure would result in them travelling to an alternative site and so be an inconvenience to them. However, given the financial climate and the continuing need to make savings, this minor impact was deemed not enough to justify the investment required to keep the centre open.
FCC Environment (FCC) run the centre on the council's behalf and they will consult with staff affected by the closure. Where possible, FCC will seek to relocate affected staff to the other centres they run under the Wiltshire Council household recycling centre contract.
There is no confirmed date for closure, this will be announced when arrangements are finalised.
Bridget Wayman, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for waste, said: "This decision wasn't taken lightly and we apologise to anyone disappointed about the closure. The consultation was useful and has been an important part of this process. But in analysing the feedback there simply wasn't a compelling enough argument to spend the money required to keep the centre open.
"We have carefully weighed up all the options available to us and analysed all the data, and feel this is the most sensible outcome. We have other centres in the area for people to use and collect more recyclable material at the kerbside than ever before.
"This decision does not change the fact that we remain fully committed to recycling as much waste in Wiltshire as possible."
The decision was made at Wiltshire Council's cabinet meeting on 9 October.