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Coronavirus: Fresh calls for Cornwall's tips to reopen

Coronavirus: Fresh calls for Cornwall's tips to reopen

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:40am 6th May 2020. (Updated at 9:51am 6th May 2020)

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

A Cornwall councillor has penned an open letter to the councillor responsible for waste demanding that tips are reopened.

Conservative councillor Olly Monk issued the letter he has sent to Rob Nolan, Cabinet member for environment and public protection in which he says: “Please do your job, sort it out and get them open.”

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) across Cornwall have been closed due to the coronavirus outbreak because of problems with keeping people safe.

Before the tips closed there were long queues of cars taking garden and DIY waste accumulated while people were stuck at home.

Last week Cllr Nolan said that he wanted to get the tips open but said that there were measures to put in place to avoid traffic built up at the HWRCs and to ensure people’s safety.

He said that the council was looking at a booking system so that people could visit the tips by appointment.

Cllr Monk wrote his letter to Cllr Nolan after the government announced that tips should reopen where possible. Several local councils have this week started to let people take their waste to their centres.

In his letter Cllr Monk states: “I would like to know what plans you are making to get our recycling centres reopened ASAP. Guidance from Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Local Government and Local Communities, dated on the 28th April clearly shows that local authorities should come up with a plan to reopen recycling centres but at their own discretion.

“In the case of Cornwall Council, it appears that you (as Portfolio holder for Waste) should have directed officers to develop a workable plan to get these vital community services up and running. Instead, it appears that we are no further forward in getting ready to reopen these facilities. I appreciate that reopening HWRCs will present a challenge, but as other councils have proved, this is not an insurmountable problem.

“Many people throughout the county have large amounts of waste that needs to be taken to our recycling centres now.

“I know the Conservative group has come up with several proposals to help with the reopening of our recycling centres including using vehicle registration detail to allocate a disposal date; opening the recycling centres seven days a week and open if its daylight; using the vehicle colour to identify a day to visit.

“So far, your response has been to “rubbish” these ideas rather than to offer viable solutions to the issue.

“I know that you would like a booking system to be in place (and paid for by the Government) . I feel this is fantasy thinking that will not work in the short term and will be unpractical in the mid to long term. All this will do is cause more delay in the reopening as you try to get a booking system up and running.

“The current low traffic volumes would aid the reopening of the recycling centres so the fact you have not come up with a solution is concerning.

“The reopening of recycling centres is already essential, already taking place throughout the country and already overdue in Cornwall.”

While the tips in Cornwall remain closed the council has reinstated its bulky waste collection this week.
The service, which charges people to take away large items such as sofas and washing machines, is being operated in line with physical distancing guidelines.

Bookings have to made via the council website.

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