Residents in Burntwood have claimed that the planned closure of the town’s tip will lead to an increase in fly-tipping in the area.
The Burntwood Action Group (BAG) made their comments in a letter to Staffordshire County Council.
The group was originally set up to campaign against plans to develop on green belt land in the area, but have taken up the battle to save the Burntwood Household Waste and Recycling Centre after being contacted by concerned residents.
In the letter to Cllr Erica Bayliss, BAG chairman Vic Chamberlain said:
“Most of our supporters live on the eastern side of Burntwood and they report that, on days when the Burntwood facility is closed, there is increased fly tipping in the areas off Coulter Lane, St Matthews Road/Abnalls lane, Forge Lane and Woodhouses Lane.
“Lichfield District Council has recognised that this latter site is particularly at risk and some time ago installed a sign indicating directions to the recycling centre and stating its opening times. If the site is to close, this green belt area will be under increased risk of fly tipping by people going to Lichfield but unwilling to incur the additional time and fuel costs for a 12 mile round trip.”
The group’s letter also points out that while proposals to build new homes in the Burntwood area are still on the table, the need for the tip will only increase.
Mr Chamberlain’s letter continued:
“We understand the current need for cost savings as directed by the Government, but cannot understand why refuse and recycling facilities should be one of the first areas to face the axe when the need to protect the environment demands careful medium and long term consideration. Any short term financial gain from closing Burntwood’s recycling centre will be offset by the additional costs to the environment, other public services and individuals.
“It will be a backward step in making the county more environmentally efficient. We are sure there must be other non-front line services, which could and should be prioritised for savings and should be addressed first.”
And Mr Chamberlain believes the views of local residents should not be ignored. He added:
“Our supporters are unanimous in opposing the planned closure and urge county planners to re-appraise their long term plans for refuse disposal and recycling and see the logic in keeping or upgrading the Burntwood facility.
“We would urge them to please adhere to the spirit of the Government directives and take heed of the overwhelming views of local residents and groups such as ours.”