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Don't dump this waste centre closure on us

PUBLISHED: 12:11 25 February 2011 | UPDATED: 12:44 25 February 2011

Martin Harvey from Seppings Butchers, Beccles with a petition against the closure of the town's household waste recycling centre.

Martin Harvey from Seppings Butchers, Beccles with a petition against the closure of the town's household waste recycling centre.

Archant © 2011

BECCLES residents have hit back at Suffolk County Council's decision to close the town's household waste recycling centre in May.

A petition has been launched this week by Martin Harvey, manager of Seppings butchers in Blyburgate, and within 24 hours it had 150 signatures.

He said: “I started it myself because I think it is a bad decision. Also the manager down there is a good friend of mine. He has done it for several years and has done a very good job.

“I started it on Tuesday and have got around 150 signatures already.”

He added: “I think something should be done. It is going to be such a mess around here because I think people will dump things anywhere.”

Beccles Town Council has said it is very concerned and the town’s mayor Brian Taylor has written to the authority expressing his “profound disappointment” and to record a strong objection.

In a letter to Lisa Chambers, county council portfolio holder for waste, Mr Taylor said: “I understand that the county council is in a very difficult position regarding its need to make savings, but prior to identifying this facility for closure, I would like to know if the council had considered operational changes first?

“For example, reduced opening hours could have been implemented and a charging system could have been introduced.

“I am quite sure that the residents of Beccles would be happy to pay maybe £1 or £2 per visit to the Recycling Centre in Beccles, rather than having to face a 40-minute- plus round trip to Lowestoft in order to dispose of their waste, incurring very significant petrol costs in doing so.”

Mr Taylor added: “I also read with interest that your aim was to ensure that the people of Suffolk are able to access a Recycling Centre in around 20 minutes driving time.

“I am sure that the people of Halesworth and Bungay, and probably many of the residents of Beccles also, would dispute the fact that they can drive to Lowestoft in anything like 20 minutes.

“One of your alternative suggestions of sites that could be used is Bergh Apton. I believe this site has been identified by Norfolk County Council for possible closure also.”

Suffolk County Council will close seven of its 18 recycling centres on May 9.

The council hopes to save £2.3m from its waste services budget by reducing its recycling service.

It comes after councillors approved a £43m cost-cutting exercise. The move has proved very controversial with fears that it could lead to an increase in fly-tipping as people cannot be bothered to make long return journeys to dispose of waste responsibly.

Mr Taylor has appealed for the county council to reconsider its decision to close the Beccles recycling centre and to revisit how it could be operated in order to allow it to stay open.

He said: “This is such an important facility for the town and so many of the surrounding towns and villages, and its closure will inevitably cause an increase in the occurrence of fly tipping, with law abiding citizens now being forced to travel many miles and at significant cost to themselves, in order to dispose of their waste in a legal and environmentally-friendly manner.”

Sign the petition at Seppings in Blyburgate,

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