Residents alarmed at Essex County Council’s new booking system to use Waste Recycling Centres

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) has joined with local residents to express their alarm at ECC’s new requirement that will force residents to book to use local waste recycling centres, all of which are  run by Essex County Council.

Paul Gadd (R4U) Paul Gadd (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Paul Gadd, Essex County Councillor (ECC) for Saffron Walden, said “Residents have rightly reacted with alarm and anger at Essex County Council’s proposal. ECC are proposing that, from 13 March 2023, residents will be unable to use their local waste recycling centres unless they have booked a slot the day before. According to ECC, the booking system is to ‘help manage waiting times, reduce congestion, and improve the customer experience’! It’s extraordinary – there really aren’t queues at the Saffron Walden centre during the week and even at weekends it would be a struggle to describe the recycling centre as ‘congested’ – and how does making something harder to use ‘improve’ customer experience?”

Cllr Gadd continued: “The new system seems specifically designed to drive residents away from using the recycling centres when we need to be recycling more. I’ve spoken to the R4U administration at UDC and they are also alarmed. As a result, they are expecting an increase in kerb-side waste, fly-tipping and litter across our district. Residents may have missed the recent news that Conservative-led ECC are demolishing their brand-new flagship mechanical biological treatment plant after wasting £100 million on it. Now they don’t have this treatment facility, are ECC actually trying to restrict waste coming into the system, and instead literally dumping the problem on district, town and parish councils to clean up and foot the bill?”

Cllr Gadd concluded “ECC have a poor record for encouraging recycling, and limiting residents’ access will only make it worse. My fellow R4U county councillor Martin Foley and I are greatly concerned by the change, and I have written to the Essex Cabinet Member responsible for this decision to request the actual congestion and queueing statistics for Saffron Walden, and the effect on recycling rates at the recycling centre in Rayleigh where ECC have trialled their new system.”

Take the survey and tell us what you think

At R4U we have received many objections to ECC’s new system on the basis that locally there are no congestion issues, that it is unnecessary, and it will make it harder to use. Through our County Councillors (Martin Foley and Paul Gadd), we have asked ECC to stop the introduction in Uttlesford. As part of our campaign we want to get a better feel for Uttlesford residents’ views before deciding what to do next.  Our survey is now closed. Thank you to all that responded. Use the button below to view the results.

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