Plans to cut opening hours and days of operation at county council rubbish tips

JPCT 250313 Hop Oast Amenity tip, Horsham. Photo by Derek Martin ENGPPP00320130325133824
JPCT 250313 Hop Oast Amenity tip, Horsham. Photo by Derek Martin ENGPPP00320130325133824

Cost cutting measures could see rubbish tips in Horsham, Crawley, East Grinstead, Burgess Hill and Billingshurst have their opening hours reduced.

Currently, all household waste recycling sites (HWRS) across West Sussex are open seven days each week, with one exception, but those at Hop Oast near Horsham, East Grinstead and Billingshurst could be closed two days a week.

The tips at Crawley and Burgess Hill would remain open seven days a week, but the opening hours of all West Sussex County Council operated HWRSs would be cut under proposals due to go out for public consultation this month.

East Grinstead and Billingshurst would both be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while Hop Oast would be shut on Thursdays and Fridays.

Meanwhile total opening hours for all the sites would be reduced to 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Sunday including bank holidays.

Currently sites are open 8am-7pm Monday to Friday and 9am-7pm during the weekends and bank holidays during the summer. In the winter they open at the same time but close at 5pm, two hours earlier.

Other proposed changes would see the tips charge to dispose non-household waste such as soil, hard-core, plasterboard and car and van tyres, as this costs the county council around £600,000 a year.

A charge of £4 per bag and the same per tyre would be introduced.

Lorry, tractor and mobile plant tyres would no longer be accepted as around 100 are received each year and cost between £20 and £80 to dispose each.

David Barling, WSCC’s cabinet member for residents’ services, said: ““We appreciate these proposals will impact upon some residents.

“But when faced with a situation like this with squeezed budgets, we have to look at the wider picture.

“We feel there are efficiencies we can make that produce significant savings, while still providing an effective service for the vast majority of people.”

He added: “Please go online and tell us what you think about these plans.

“We are listening and want to understand everybody’s opinion on these changes before we make any decision.”

The consultation document argues that other county councils who have introduced similar changes have not seen an increase in fly-tipping as a result.

The draft consultation form reads: “We appreciate that these proposals will have an impact on some residents but in every single case we have tried hard to find solutions which save money, but minimise the inconvenience to the largest number of residents.

“We think this is the right thing to do when budgets are being squeezed ever harder, as we think we should be prioritising the money we spend on people, not waste.”

The consultation is set to start on Monday, May 16.

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