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Petition growing as Elstree Recycling Centre users campaign against closure
A petition to save a waste disposal centre is growing as keen users continue to express their disbelief at its possible closure.
Hertfordshire County Council has released a consultation that suggests closing two of its 17 recycling centres, including one in Allum Lane, Elstree.
The suggestions have been put forward as a way to save money, but Councillor Morris Bright believes that people may be faced with no option but to put more rubbish in their black bins - which the council then has to pay to be dumped in landfill.
A campaign has now been launched to save the centre, with a Facebook page to help gather support.
Councillor Harvey Cohen has also set up a new, official petition against the plans.
Many of the centre's users have commented on the Borehamwood Times website expressing their objections to the plans.
One, Antony Gee said: "Recycling has been shoved down our throats over many years and whilst I, probably like many, wasn’t keen to start, I have fully bought into the scheme and feel it has benefits for the planet. Closing Allum Lane recycling centre would discourage me and many others from continuing this policy."
He added: “How much extra petrol will be used getting to Potters Bar and how much extra pollution created?”
Many are worried about an increase in fly tipping if the plans go ahead.
Kelvin added: “A totally crass proposal to close the Elstree site, it is always busy and recycling keeps fly tippers off the streets. Please, please keep it open.”
Lisa Hunter said: “Shut the dump and increase fly tipping - brilliant. A problem that can’t be coped with now so imagine what it will be like without it, and the added increase of people moving to area when the Elstree Way Corridor is completed.”
According to Lets Recycle, in 2012/3 Hertsmere Borough Council was ranked 209 out of 352 local authorities for recycling - having recycled only 40.46 per cent of waste.
Andrew Lewis commented: “If Elstree closes Hertsmere Council could become one the worst councils in the country in relation to recycling.”
The Elstree recycling centre handled 3,283 tonnes of waste during 2013/2014 with 2,572 tonnes, or 78%, being recycled.
Although the centre is the county's 13th least busy site, there are four sites less busy than Elstree including Hoddesdon.
Terry Douris, cabinet member for highways and waste management, said: “We want to create a more efficient and effective service which makes better use of your council tax. However, we recognise that any service change will have an impact on our residents. We therefore want your views on the changes AmeyCespa is suggesting, before making any decision on service changes.
“Over the last four years, we have worked hard to deliver savings totalling £149m across the council while protecting essential frontline services. Due to further reductions in national funding and increasing demand for key services such as adult social care and children's services, the county council needs to save a further £147m over the next four years. If agreed, the changes suggested to our centres could mean that the service saves £6m over the next eight years.”
The County Council add that there is little evidence to support the view that closing recycling centres has an impact on flytipping but will work closely with AmeyCespa and the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership to encourage residents to use the remaining 15 centres.
Those who use the centre can give their views to the county council during the consultation period by completing an online questionnaire.
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