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Council saves threatened recycling centres

A local authority that threatened to close almost half its recycling centres has announced it will keep them all open – but reduce their opening hours.

Cumbria County Council, which needs to slash £4m from its £29m annual waste and recycling budget, consulted on proposals including the closure of six of its 14 household waste recycling centres (HWRCs).

But it has now agreed to keep them all open while scaling back the opening hours to save £1.5m a year from 2013/14.

The plans, to be introduced later this year, include:

  • Seasonal opening hours for all HWRCs of 9am - 6pm April to September and 9am - 4pm October to March
  • Five days per week opening (including Saturdays and Sundays) at Carlisle, Barrow, Kendal and Flusco HWRCs as well as at Frizington and Workington until they are closed, and then at Lillyhall, which will replace them.
  • Four days per week opening (including Saturdays and Sundays) at Maryport and Ulverston.
  • Two days per week opening (including one day at the weekend) at Millom, Ambleside, Wigton, Brampton, Grange and Kirkby Stephen.

All the changes are subject to negotiations with waste contractor Shanks.

Councillor Tim Knowles (pictured) said: “People told us that they would rather have a site that’s available less often than no site at all, so that’s what we’re delivering.

“In an ideal world we wouldn’t have to cut our opening hours or days, but in a financial climate where the council has had to make £44m of savings last year, plus over £20m this year, something has to give.”

He added: “The message is simple – we still want you to recycle and we still want you to use your tip, but check it’s open before loading up the car and setting off.”

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