Plea Over Plans To Close Recycling Centre

Weir Road recycling centre under threat

Plans to close the recycling centre in Weir Road, Wimbledon, as part of council cutbacks have been met by opposition.

Merton council is proposing to close the centre, which it says is more costly to run per tonne than the depot at Garth Road in Morden, which also takes household landfill waste.

But at a meeting of the council's Sustainable Communities Committee, the Conservative group called for them to re-think their proposals.

The package of money-saving measures also includes reducing the number of enforcement officers, stopping the garden waste collections and reducing street sweeping.

An online petition against the closure of Weir Road has been set up on Merton Council's new e-petition scheme. It has gathered more than 200 signatures since it started on January 23.

Councillor Henry Nelless (left), the Conservative Environment Spokesman, said: "Residents are rightly worried about the impact of these cuts to waste and street sweeping. 

"Rather than looking to increase efficiencies, Labour have gone for cutting front line services. They claim that street cleanliness is one of their top priorities but that is not borne out by these proposals."

The borough's annual residents' survey recently showed that in 2010 satisfaction with the cleanliness of the streets increased with 57% of the respondents rating street cleaning as good to excellent - a 7% increase on 2009. But cleaner streets remain one of the top four areas of concern for Merton's residents.

Councillor Andrew Judge (left), Cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, said: "We appreciate residents' concerns about the future of Weir Road.  As is the case with other councils, we are having to make significant savings. 

"To help us do this, our proposals include the closure of Weir Road, which is much more costly per tonne to run than Garth Road. Our new free bulky waste service should help households dispose of their larger items easily and responsibly."

The final decision will be made at the full council meeting on March 2, and the proposals will be subject to negotiation with Environmental Waste Control (EWC), who are contracted to run the Weir Road site.

  • The free bulky waste collection is available for Merton residents with up-to-date council tax payments. Under the scheme, up to five items can be collected at no cost once every three months. The free collection includes fridges and freezers, TVs and bagged smaller electrical items such as kettles and toasters. There is a minimum fee of £10 for additional items covering up to three additional items with £4 charged for the ninth item and each thereafter.

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January 27, 2011