Published: December 18, 2013
Cash cutbacks 'won't impact Highbridge's Isleport Recycling Centre'

Opening hours at Highbridge's Isleport Recycling Centre will not be altered despite a raft of cutbacks across the county announced by Somerset Waste Partnership.

Two recycling sites at Coleford and Middlezoy have been earmarked for closure while five recycling centres across Somerset will see amended opening hours.

The plan, proposed by Somerset Waste Partnership's governing Board, is part of efforts to meet savings targets required by Somerset County Council. Under the county council’s medium term financial plan, Somerset Waste Partnership will have £711,900 less funding in 2014/2015, and total of £2,287,900 less over the next four years.

A spokesman confirmed to that no changes are proposed for Highbridge's Isleport Recycling Centre.

Closure of Coleford and Middlezoy’s sites, if approved, would affect around 850 visitors to each of the sites every month, as together they now account for less than 2% of all recycling site visits. It is expected that extending opening at the busiest sites, such as Bridgwater Saltlands, Frome, Minehead, Taunton Priorswood, and Yeovil, would benefit tens of thousands of residents.

Somerset Waste Partnership managing director Steve Read said: "These are not easy decisions but SWP has to live within the budget its partners contribute, and users of Coleford and Middlezoy would have a choice of alternatives within a few miles."

"We appreciate this may, if agreed, cause some inconvenience to the committed recyclers of Coleford and Middlezoy. We hope they will be able to use one of the next most convenient sites, one of which in each district will be open extra hours as well as continuing to be free to use. Meanwhile, an expansion of days and hours at five or more sites could only help improve recycling and cut fly-tipping further."

The plan will be open for public comment and considered by the county council and all five district councils before a final decision by the Somerset Waste Board on 21st February.

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