HERTFORDSHIRE will need a number of waste and recycling ‘super sites’ to keep up with demand by 2031, it has been reported.

Currently there are 17 ‘household waste and recycling centres’ spotted around the county where residents can take unwanted household items – for disposal, recycling or re-use – free of charge.

But a newly updated waste ‘spatial strategy’ document shows that within 13 years most of the existing sites will be unsuitable.

That’s because additional capacity will be needed to match population growth and to meet new national recycling requirements.

And the strategy – presented to the county council’s cabinet on Monday (June 10) – outlines the need for a number of new waste and recycling ‘super sites’.

As well as helping the county to meet future re-use and recycling targets the report says these ‘super sites’ would reduce queuing, speed-up turnaround times and improve safety.

New ‘super site’ locations  have already been identified as “potentially deliverable” in Ware, Stevenage and Turnford – with a fourth proposed to serve the Baldock and Letchworth areas.

And work on Ware’s multi-million pound ‘super site’ is already underway, with the new facility due to open next Spring (2020).

“The development of super sites will result in a more modern and operationally  effective HWRC service,” says the report.

“Larger sites will increase capacity and decrease the turnaround time of each visit by reducing queuing at the centres.”

But the report also identifies a need to find three additional ‘super sites’ – each ideally one hectare in size or larger – close to Bishop’s Stortford, around Welwyn Hatfield and in the east Hemel Hempstead area.

And councillors have stressed the need for St Albans and Dacorum councils to assist with the hunt for the location of the East Hemel site.

Executive member Cllr Terry Hone said: “We need St Albans and Dacorum to come up with ideas for a location. We need them to come to us.”

According to data in the report, seven of the 17 existing household waste and recycling centres will be deemed ‘unsuitable’ within five years.

And by 2031 – with growing pressure on the network – that number is expected to increase to 11.

Just four sites have been identified as “suitable” for 2031 and beyond, in Harpenden, Rickmansworth, Royston and Waterdale. And they will remain open.

A further two centres – that are described as “not ideal” – in Berkhamsted and Potters Bar are also expected to remain open in the longer term.

The report to the cabinet also updates councillors on ongoing work to improve or relocate the facilities.

In Stevenage, it says work is already ongoing to look at expansion of the existing site or a move to a possible location to the north of the town centre, making it more accessible to Hitchin residents too.

In addition, officers are already looking for a new location close to the A10 corridor to replace the current Turnford site. And they are looking at the development of a further site in Baldock, that could also serve as a depot for North Herts District Council.

Meanwhile in the search for new sites, work is ongoing to look at the feasibility of redeveloping Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s Tewin Road depot, in Welwyn Garden City, to replace the existing Cole Green site.

The report also indicates that the council is concentrating further searches on land to the west of Bishop’s Stortford. And it says it would need to find a one hectare site within the east of Hemel Hempstead development too.

According to the report to the cabinet the existing network requires “significant capital investment” in order to be fit for purpose.

The report says capital funding of £7million has been  allocated to the ‘super site’ at Ware, £3.2million to the expansion of the existing site at Stevenage and £4.5million to the development of a facility at Tewin Road, to replace Cole Green.

The 17 existing ‘household waste recycling centres’ are Berkhamsted, Bishop’s Stortford, Buntingford, Cole Green, Elstree, Harpenden, Hemel Hempstead, Hoddesdon, Letchworth, Potters Bar, Rickmansworth, Royston, St Albans, Stevenage, Turnford, Ware and Waterdale.