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Council to consult on the future of Sandy Lane recycling site

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TOWN Hall chiefs at Warrington are to be recommended to approve a six week consultation on the future of the Sandy Lane community recycling centre at Stockton Heath.
Members of the borough council’s executive board will also be asked to approve funding for a programme of infrastructure investment at the Gatewarth and Woolston community recycling centres.
More than 3,000 people have already signed a petition calling for the Sandy Lane site to be kept open.
But a report to go to the council’s executive board next Tuesday states that the cost per tonne of operating the Sandy Lane site is £88.62 – more than double the cost of either of the other two sites.
Woolston is said to offer the best value for money with a cost of £37.01 per tonne.
The report points out that the Gatewarth site is currently only used to 50 per cent of its capacity and that it has the space to be re-configured to accept both commercial and domestic waste.
All three sites are working on permits dating back 50 years and do not meet present day standards. Officers have worked up improvement schemes for Gatewarth and Woolston.
But given the constraints at the smaller Sandy Lane site, together with the impact on near neighbours, upgrading the facility to the required standard would be “challenging.”
Based on discussions with the Environment Agency, regulator of the sites, it is not clear how longer the current permits will remain valid before they are withdrawn.
However, before any decision is taken, officers propose a consultation on the provision of waste recycling services at Stockton Heath to obtain peopole’s views on future options.
A separate report will be present to the executive board on the future of the Sandy Lane site after the consultation has been completed.
The cost of operating the three sites in 2017-18 was £1,149,110 – an overspend of £294,256.
The board will be asked to agree to the six week consultation on the Sandy Lane site and to delegate to officers authority to award a contract to carry out improvements at Gatewarth and Woolston.
Total cost of the work is put at around £1.8 million.

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