08 Jan 2016
A six week consultation, starting today (8 January), is asking people across West Suffolk to give their views on how local household waste should be dealt with in the future.
Partner councils Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough, who are responsible for picking up bins from households, along with Suffolk County Council, who is responsible for disposing of the waste collected, are looking to relocate their West Suffolk waste management facilities to a single site, called a West Suffolk Operational Hub. The Hub would need to be near the town with the largest population, Bury St Edmunds.
A West Suffolk Operational Hub would include:
Cllr Peter Stevens, St Edmundsbury Cabinet member responsible for waste management, said: “Bringing these services together into a single hub not only makes the best use of taxpayers’ money but also frees up land for development, including the second stage of the Public Service Village in Western Way which will create new jobs. Now we are encouraging anyone with a stake in the future of waste management services – that’s everyone who has their bins picked up by the councils – to look at our research and give us their views.”
Having concluded that a single site was the best option for waste services in the area, the partner councils then assessed 19 potential sites against a range of criteria, such as size, shape, location (including access to major road networks) and closeness to people, protected animals or buildings to work out which ones might be a suitable location for the hub.
Cllr Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for waste management said: “Locating these services together on a single site means we will be able to manage waste more effectively in the future. The transfer station will mean bin lorries can spend more time collecting waste from households, and vehicles will spend less time travelling up and down the A14 to the Energy from Waste and recycling facilities. We are asking people to give their views on the idea of having a hub, the sites we assessed and the criteria we used to assess them. All views received will help to inform decisions taken by the partner councils.” Along with a Consultation Summary Booklet, a detailed report which looks at all the options (the Identification and Assessment of Potential Options and Sites Report) and a Sustainability Appraisal, which assesses the environmental, social and economic effects are available online at www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/wsoh The website also lists six locations where this information will be available from, three drop-in events where people can get more information, a public meeting, a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and an online feedback form.
Cllr David Bowman, Forest Heath’s Cabinet member responsible for waste management said: “While a shared hub needs to be near Bury St Edmunds and the A14, this consultation affects everyone in West Suffolk because we all put our bins out each week for collection and we need to make sure that the service is managed as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible for every taxpayer.”
In 2015 the partner councils announced that land at Hollow Road Farm, to the north of Bury St Edmunds, was in their view, the optimal site for a WSOH. However, due to the level of public feedback, the partner councils agreed to look at the process again. They are now seeking views from the public on the rationale for a hub and the criteria for where one may be located as well as any sites that may have been overlooked.