Crewkerne Recycling Centre at Blacknell Lane Industrial Estate has been saved from the threat of closure. Of the 16 sites across the county run by Somerset Waste Partnership, it is one of two with the lowest usage and highest costs. From April 1st next year, the Crewkerne site will be open on Sundays, Mondays and Saturdays instead of the current five days a week, with an end to the £2 cash entry fees by April 2020. Nick Cater of SWP said: “The entry fee and change of legal status was introduced at the request of the community in and around Crewkerne to avoid the site being closed some years ago. Reducing opening days enables Crewkerne, once slated for closure to stay open.” Figures released by Nick Cater of SWP show that the average site visits across the 16 sites is 100,948 per year, while visits to the Crewkerne site are well down on the average, showing 26,268 visits per year and the average cost per visit of £5.57 is well above the average costs to SWP at the Crewkerne site, showing £17.55.
The changes which come into operation in April 2019 at recycling sites run by SWP will include staying open for longer at weekends with Saturday and Sunday hours 9 am until 4 pm all year round. With low early user numbers, all 16 recycling sites will start work later on weekdays at 9 am but stay open until 6 pm from April to September and until 5 pm from October to March. Putting an end to the current closing time of 7 pm on Mondays, which was widely found to be underused across 11 of SWP recycling sites.
Recently agreed by Somerset Waste Board, the changes reflect users demands at each individual site and a commitment to keep all 16 sites open. They are part of Somerset Waste Services transformation programme, which will include extra weekly plastics recycling, three weekly rubbish collections and an end to land-filling most refuse in 2020. Flyers announcing the changes will be available at SWP’s recycling centres.
SWP Managing Director Mickey Green said: “These improvements reflect what customers have told us they want, especially the extra weekend hours and later Summer evenings. Most importantly, they ensure that all 16 sites stay open and that each sites’ hours carefully match the existing use and future needs as Somerset’s population and housing stock expands.”