Plan for £6million upgrades to Suffolk recycling centres – see where the money will be spent here
PUBLISHED: 11:01 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:11 18 July 2018
Funding of £6million is set to be pumped into upgrading Suffolk’s recycling centres – with fresh sites in Ipswich and Stowmarket set to be found.
Suffolk County Council’s cabinet will meet on Tuesday next week where the seven figure sum is set to be approved.
The plan has earmarked £3m for the Foxhall Recycling Centre – Suffolk’s busiest with 20% of all recycling waste in the county – and £1m for Haverhill for “urgent improvements”.
Elsewhere £1m has been earmarked for a site to replace the Portman’s Walk Recycling Centre in Ipswich town centre, and a further million for the same in Stowmarket.
Paul West, cabinet member for waste said: “It is important that we make this investment as, based on predicted population growth for the county, the sites in Ipswich, Stowmarket and Haverhill could not continue running as they do at present.
“Equally the Foxhall site, being the busiest in the county, cannot continue to operate without expansion and renewed planning permission.
“The rest of the recycling sites across the county simply wouldn’t be able to cope with the additional demand if it were to close.
“By investing now we are ensuring our recycling sites will be able to meet the future demand that the predicted population growth will bring.”
The plans will see improvements to traffic access at Foxhall and measures to prevent people from having to climb steps to dispose of their waste in the containers.
Existing planning permission for work expires in March 2021.
At Haverhill, the site has to be closed when containers are emptied because of space, so the funding aims to double the size of the site and prevent such closures.
The existing Ipswich and Stowmarket sites are considered to be severely constrained for space, with no expansion opportunities available and the surrounding roads not offering a safe area to queue onto the facility.
The tender for firms to run the county’s recycling centres from 2019 went out for bids earlier this month, with the contract set to be awarded in December.
If the funding goes ahead, detailed designs and planning applications will be drawn up this year, with the aim of securing land sites and carrying out necessary ecology and archaeology work this year as well.
Construction for improvements is expected to get underway in 2019/20.
However, the costs of borrowing the cash could amount to more than £300,000 per year, according to the cabinet’s report, assuming that borrowing is spread over 30 years at a 3% rate.
Peter Gardiner, Labour opposition spokesman for waste and environment said: “We are very supportive of whatever can be done to improve recycling across the county, that’s something we have always supported.
“The issue here is whether it’s good value for money what is being proposed.
“From what I understand the way in which it is being funded there will be a considerable outlay.
“Along with that is the fact that the past few years spending on the sites has already been cut back quite considerably – that could have been the opportunity then to do something with the sites.”