Partial closure threat lifted at Worstead recycling centre

 Worstead Recycling centre.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Worstead Recycling centre.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

The threat of partial closure at a busy north Norfolk recycling centre has been lifted.

 Worstead Recycling centre.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Worstead Recycling centre.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A county-wide review of the recycling centre network has ruled out earlier thoughts of reducing the Worstead site from seven days a week to four in a bid to save money.

But possible relocation or redevelopment of the Sheringham site, and relocation of the larger Mayton Wood centre near Coltishall, are still being explored.

And all sites will close an hour earlier, at 5pm, in summer as part of the savings drive.

An alternative package of changes to the service were agreed by Norfolk County Council's environment, development and transport committee last Friday.

A change of contract and efficiencies means the council now needs to save £280,000 instead of the original £447,000.

Previous plans to introduce a £2 charge to use Worstead were dropped in March when the government outlawed any fees for using household recycling centres.

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The removal of the part-time threat to the site has been welcomed by councillors who fought the idea.

County Councillor for North Walsham East, Eric Seward, said: 'Residents in and around the North Walsham area will, I am sure, be pleased and relieved that the original ideas for changing Worstead recycling centre have been shelved once and for all.

'We all know that the county council faces major challenges and needs to make big savings to make up our funding gap.

'But we made a very strong case that this was the simply the wrong plan in the wrong place and that we should pause, review and reconsider – and we've been proved right.

'The review showed clearly that Worstead is one of the busiest recycling centres in the county's network. Making it part time would just have inconvenienced a great many people and put unnecessary pressure on other sites.'

John Timewell, councillor for North Walsham West and vice-chairman of the EDT committee, added: 'We've made Norfolk's recycling centre service more efficient and this new package of measures also affects far fewer people than the previous proposals would have done, particularly in this part of Norfolk.'

There was still a need to consider what type of recycling network was run in the future - including having a network of 'fewer, larger, modern super sites with a wider range of recycling and reuse facilities.'

It would be a big investment and take some time to deliver but if it could improve recycling performance, meet future population growth, and deliver big savings for council tax payers, it was worth looking into in more detail.