Surrey councillors approve recycling charges to save £1.8m

Some community recycling centres in Surrey will shut at quieter times and large loads of non-household waste will be chargeable in a bid to save £1.8m.

Surrey County Council approved the cost cuts after a public consultation.

The charges will apply to tyres, large gas bottles and larger loads of waste such as rubble, plasterboard and soil. There will be no charge for asbestos.

Opposition Liberal Democrats said the measures would lead to more flytipping but the Conservatives dispute this.

Councillor Hazel Watson, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the “flawed decision” was unpopular with residents, as shown in a petition to the Conservative-run authority signed by more than 1,200 people.

She claimed the changes would discourage recycling.

Councillor Mike Goodman, cabinet member for environment and planning, said all of the county’s 15 recycling centres would be retained, but some would “open a little later and close a little earlier”, and others would close for “the odd day”.

“If closed, the public will be able to use another site close by,” he said.

The council said the new charges would help recoup the £1.3m annual cost to taxpayers of disposing of the items.

The changes are due to be implemented early next year.

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