ECC new Book-to-Bin system ‘not being properly evidenced’ as Herts CC seeks to ban Uttlesford residents in return

The trial of the new pre-booking system which Essex County Council (ECC) has introduced at all of its recycling centres is a ‘sham’ and a ‘mess’ according to Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) because ECC have failed to produce evidence to support the change. Meanwhile, in a reciprocal response to ECC, Hertfordshire County Council has announced that they now plan to stop Uttlesford residents using their centres.

Paul Gadd (R4U) Paul Gadd (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Paul Gadd, Essex County Councillor for Saffron Walden, said “ECC have gone ahead and implemented their Book-to-Bin system as a ‘trial until the New Year’, ignoring the survey that R4U presented to them showing that more than 99% of the nearly 3,000 Uttlesford residents who responded oppose it. The Conservative administration at ECC claimed that their changes were required to ‘reduce queues’, but there is no evidence for this. In fact, at a council meeting last week, when they said that their final decision would be based on measuring queuing frequency, waiting times, congestion, levels of waste and recycling performance, we challenged them for the data they would have been expected to capture before starting the trial. They haven’t been able to produce any proper evidence base. How can they spend our money on a system and trial when there are no measurements to compare to? It is clear that this is all just a sham, and that they are primarily trying to save money by reducing the amount of waste and recycling they need to process, which is what happened when they tested the system in Rayleigh.”

Cllr Gadd continued “Alarmingly, in what seems classic tit-for-tat, on Monday the Hertfordshire County Council cabinet approved a ban on Uttlesford residents using their centres unless ECC opens Essex centres back up again to Hertfordshire residents and pays the difference. Herts say that 60% of those that use their Bishops Stortford centre don’t live in their county. When a ban comes into effect, Uttlesford residents living in Stansted, the Hallingburys, the Stort Valley, Takeley, Elsenham and Henham will now face a more than 20-mile round trip to Saffron Walden, Braintree or Chelmsford to recycle. ECC have created a complete mess that wasn’t needed, and it will cost residents and our planet dearly. We will continue to push the Tory administration at ECC for a reversal of this flawed initiative, and for Essex and Herts councils to work for their residents.”

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