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Town Council urges Cheshire east to change proposals to close recycling centre


Congleton Town Council will be urging Cheshire East Council to provide Congleton with a Household Waste and Recycling Site, and not accept a short term ‘convenient’ saving that will lead to a long-term environmental problem for the borough. Congleton Town Council wishes to explore all the options with Cheshire East Council to ensure a long-term environmentally sound solution for the area.

Seventeen of the 20 Town Councillors attended a strategy working group meeting on Thursday 4thMarch to share knowledge and debate the best way forward. Recommendations from the group will be voted at an open Emergency Council meeting at 6pm on Thursday 11th March, as the Strategy Working Group is not a decision-making body. At the working group there was unanimous support for ensuring that Congleton residents have access to a local Household Waste Recycling Site in the Congleton area on equality, environmental and economic reasons.

In 2019-20 the Congleton Household Waste Recycling Centre dealt with 2,790 tonnes of materials, 1,237 of which was recycled, 115 tonnes reused, 439 tonnes of green waste composted, 100 tonnes of hard core sent for other purposes and 899 tonnes of non-recyclable material.

Town Councillors anticipate that the closure of a recycling site will add to the loss of recycled waste into fly-tipping or the general non-recyclable system. Cheshire East Council reports show the closure of Arclid waste site resulted in a 4% loss of its throughput tonnage. In effect, 96% of its waste was taken up by other sites, leaving 4% either entering household bins or fly-tipping. The Arclid site is just five miles from Congleton. Alternatives to the Congleton site are further away, which could result in less recycling. Even if the loss were 4%, the closure of the Congleton site would result in the loss of 111 tonnes every year.

At the Strategy Working Group, councillors suggested that closing the tip in Congleton is a closure of convenience because the lease has come to an end. It suggested that Cheshire East Council should be making a long-term strategic plan to provide improved recycling capabilities for the benefit of our environment for many generations to come.

Time is short as the issue of Congleton Household Waste Recycling Centre is being discussed at the Cheshire East Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee on Monday 15th March. Congleton Town Councillors are hoping at this meeting Cheshire East Councillors will not make a rushed decision. The Town Council is keen to explore all options with Cheshire East to retain a site or find an alternative one for Congleton and to further understand the business model and research that is behind the recommendation to close this essential service.

The Town Council is also keen to explore an exciting new round of Climate Action Fund grants which was announced this week with a focus on waste and consumption to see if this could be used to as part of the solution for Congleton.

The petition to Save our Recycling Centre is still open and currently has more than 3,000 signatures. You can sign the petition at www.change.org/p/cheshire-east-council-save-our-congleton-recycling-centre

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