THERE are just days left for East Sussex residents to give their views on the county’s strategy to deal with household waste between 2014 and 2025.
The strategy, a consultation on which ends on Wednesday, December 11, includes targets for recycling and diverting waste from landfill and identifies savings with the proposed closure of three household waste and recycling sites.
“The waste strategy is not a fait accompli – we want to hear residents’ views,” said Cllr Carl Maynard, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for transport and environment.
“We have to find at least £60million of savings over the next three years, and to achieve this difficult decisions have to be made. We need to find ways of delivering services differently in order to make the savings and closing three waste sites is just one suggestion of how we can do this.
“Before any decision is taken, we will consider all the feedback we receive from the consultation, as well as the evidence collected by our officers.”
The strategy looks at the closure of Forest Row, Wadhurst and Seaford waste sites as a way of saving around £250,000 a year.
If proposals are given the go ahead, journey times to the nearest waste site will increase for some people. However, any increase will remain within national guidelines, which recommend at least 90 per cent of people are within a maximum driving time of a site of 20 minutes in urban areas and 30 minutes in rural areas.
Under the proposals, 97 per cent of residents will still be within a 20 minute drive of a site in the county.
Concerns have been raised by residents about the risk of an increase in flytipping following any closures, but there is no data to suggest there is a link. There are effective controls already in place to prevent and deal with flytipping and East Sussex County Council works closely with the Environment Agency, police and district and borough councils.
“Officers have already looked into a number of issues that may arise from the closure of any site and these, along with the views of local people, will be taken into account when a decision is made,” Cllr Maynard added.
People can find out more and take part in the consultation online at https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/east-sussex-waste-strategy-review
A decision on the strategy and proposed closure of the Forest Row, Wadhurst and Seaford waste sites will be made by the council in March 2014.