Major review into Worksop and Retford recycling centres delayed

A special task group will be set up to guide an ongoing review of Nottinghamshire’s recycling and household waste centres as its findings continue to be delayed.
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Nottinghamshire Council started the review in 2022 amid concerns some of the county’s 12 centres may not be “fit for purpose”.

Problems include locations, capacity problems and impact on nearby road networks.

However, the review has been delayed while the authority waits for clarity on the impact of Government reforms.

Worksop recycling centreWorksop recycling centre
Worksop recycling centre

Ministers are drawing up plans to “fundamentally overhaul” the waste system, with a new set of policies to change how people recycle their waste. This could include a reduction of materials received by recycling centres and a shift to more kerbside collections, with food waste, plastic pots, tubs or trays, aerosols, cartons and plastic film potentially to be recycled from homes.

However, the full impact of these changes is not yet known and the Government is yet to publish the outcomes of a number of consultations.

The council says this delay has meant it “has not been possible” to finalise the ongoing review of its recycling centre network.

At the latest meeting of the council’s place select committee, a ‘task and finish group’ was set up to discuss the next steps for the review while the council awaits the updated policies.

Once these have been provided, the authority says it will be able to determine how recycling centres will be utilised in the future.

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Mick Allen, council group manager for place commissioning, said: “It’s frustrating we haven’t been able to conclude things. Until we get certainty about strategic issues, as well as costs, it’s very difficult to make a long-term plan.”

He said about 98 per cent of all Nottinghamshire residents live within a 20-minute drive of their closest recycling centre.

A recent survey by council waste and recycling contractor Veolia found the same percentage of people were either satisfied or very satisfied with the service they offer.

Coun Roger Upton told the meeting: “I personally think with all the issues outlined by the officer, we should pause this review until whenever the Government publishes its guidance.

“There are too many ifs and buts. It’s pointless going round and round in circles, it all hinges on the Government.”

The Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs has been contacted for a comment.

Recycling centres include Shireoaks Road in Worksop and Hallcroft Road in Retford.

The launch of the review sparked concerns some sites could close, but councillors were previously reassured the review “absolutely isn’t about reducing provision”.

Coun Neil Clarke, cabinet member for transport and environment, said in January last year: “The commitment I can make is the intent of the review is to strengthen our recycling centre provision, not weaken or reduce it, and to drive up recycling rates.

“I can’t commit to keeping all the centres open because, maybe, we might want to have some more, or the review might suggest closing one and building a bigger, more expansive super-centre.