WORK is about to start on major improvements at Warrington’s Gatewarth and Woolston Community Recycling Centres.
The £1.8m investment, given the go-ahead by the borough council in May, will see Gatewarth re-modelled to maximise space, including new access and exit points; while Woolston will be extended to provide greater capacity for receiving waste and to create a better flow of traffic.
Both sites will also benefit from resurfacing, renewed perimeter fencing, upgraded lighting and new CCTV and security systems.
As well as providing higher quality waste recycling services, the improvements will enable Warrington to meet current environmental permitting standards, with the council needing to significantly upgrade its community recycling centres to comply with Environment Agency requirements.
The Woolston improvements commence on Monday August 6 and will take up to 12 weeks to complete. The site will be temporarily closed from Sunday August 5 while the redevelopment is undertaken, to enable it to be carried out efficiently and safely. It is programmed to reopen in late October.
The improvements at Gatewarth will take place between early October and February next year. The works will be phased to ensure the site is operational at all times.
Warrington Borough Council’s lead member for environment, Cllr Judith Guthrie, said: “These improvements are an important part of our work to modernise community recycling in Warrington and to meet the requirements of the Environment Agency.
“The investment will bring massive benefits to users of Gatewarth and Woolston recycling centres, bringing them up to modern standards and maximising the amount of waste which can be handled.
“We would ask local people to bear with us while these works are carried out. There will be some short term disruption, but it will result in major improvements to our community waste recycling service.”
The council’s three community recycling centres, at Gatewarth, Woolston and Stockton Heath, are managed and operated via a contract with Environmental Waste Controls (EWC).
Currently, the centres are not able or permitted to accept any commercial or industrial waste. The changes to Gatewarth would enable it to receive small amounts of commercial waste. This, in turn, could bring in additional income for the council.
Meanwhile a question mark hangs over the future of the Sandy Lane site at Stockton Heath, which is going through a six week consultation period. Local campaigners fear the council will close it to save money once the improvements have been carried out at Gatewarth and Woolston.