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Application to ease West Berkshire 'waste wars' woes submitted

Plans for Padworth recycling centre to take general waste go in

John Herring

Reporter:

John Herring

Contact:

01635 886633

Application to ease West Berkshire 'waste wars' woes submitted

PLANS that would allow West Berkshire residents to dump their household waste at Padworth have been submitted.

Veolia Environmental Services runs the facility on behalf of West Berkshire Council, which has found itself caught in a ‘waste war’ with neighbouring local authorities.

Residents in the east of the district face a round trip of up to 30 miles to dispose of their household waste at Newbury, after the council withdrew its funding to the cross-local authority partnership Re3.

This resulted in Re3 banning West Berkshire residents from the Smallmead Recycling Centre, Reading, by introducing a permit scheme.

The fallout then spread to Hampshire residents, who were banned from West Berkshire tips, and permits were issued to West Berkshire residents. 

Now Veolia is applying for a change of use to allow the Padworth recycling centre to take household waste and amend a condition on its opening hours.

Plans for the Padworth Lane facility were approved in 2009 and a condition was imposed to only allow it to take recyclable waste.

The centre has been in use since November 2011, but Veolia said that its use has been significantly less than anticipated.

When the plans were approved, around 7,200 tonnes of waste a year were expected at the facility, along with 441 visits on weekdays and 1,093 at weekends.

Although the amount of waste being dumped at the facility has increased, last year’s total of approximately 1,300 tonnes represented only 15 per cent of the original estimate.

While the amount of rubbish being deposited at Padworth is set to increase, Veolia believes it will be less than the 7,200 tonne prediction.

Data from 2014 shows that West Berkshire residents were depositing around 4,800 tonnes of waste a year at Smallmead.

A survey carried out the following year showed that waste from Hampshire residents accounted for approximately 41 per cent (500 tonnes in 2015/16) of that deposited at Padworth.

Taking the changes into account, Veolia said that a net tonnage increase of 4,000 to 4,500 tonnes of waste a year could be expected at Padworth.

However, based on survey responses, this amount could increase to between 5,000 and 6,000 tonnes – still short of the original estimate.

The centre is currently open from 12.30pm until 6pm on weekdays and Veolia has applied to extend these hours  from 8am until 6pm, its current weekend operating hours.

The company said that opening earlier during the week would help spread the number of vehicle movements to the tip throughout the day.

The facility is currently permitted to open from 7.30am until 6.30pm at weekends but Veolia said these extended hours are not required. 

A decision is expected from West Berkshire Council by Friday, February 3, 2017.

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