Proposals to cut waste prevention budgets, recycling credits and close recycling centres are being considered by Cumbria County Council in an effort to reduce spending in the region.
According to a consultation on the council’s website, it is required to make £50m of savings in the next four years following predicted falls of £43m in revenue funding and a 45% reduction in capital funding budgets.
The council has identified a number of options for potential savings in the context of waste management on which the public can offer their views:
- A ‘review operation’ of the 14 household waste recycling centres operating in the region, which would mean “fewer sites and reduced opening hours in some areas” and could save £1.41m
- The removal of ’recycling credits payments’ to charities and social enterprises that collect recyclables, which could save £194,000
- A 50% reduction in the council’s waste prevention budget, which provides a possible saving of £325,000.
If the three options are enacted, it would represent an overall reduction of almost £2m in waste spending by the council. But the council has insisted: “No decisions will be made until we have clarity about the financial position from the Government in December have and listened to your views.”
Independent local charity Age UK South Lakeland director Sonia Mangan said: “I am shocked that the county council has included recycling credits in the savings options. We calculate that we divert 300,000 tonnes of donated goods from landfill every year. For that we receive £5,000 of recycling credits.
“This income, alongside the money we raise from the sales of donated goods, represents the core of our charitable income“