Ealing council’s decision to close the recycling centre at Stirling Road in Acton “makes no sense” says Liberal Democrat councillor Andrew Steed.
LB Ealing is proposing to close the Acton Reuse and Recycling Centre on Stirling Road because it says it needs to save money. Earlier this month the council announced its plan to increase Council Tax by 5%, in line with other London councils including Hounslow and Hammersmith and Fulham councils and other Conservative led councils, to meet budget shortfalls exacerbated by the pandemic.
Image: Cllr Andrew Steed
Chiswick’s three Lib Dem councillors, who represent Southfield ward, oppose the closure, as the reuse and recycling centre is convenient for people in north Chiswick and south Acton. Councillor Andrew Steed told The Chiswick Calendar:
“Quite frankly it makes no sense. It discourages recycling, and encourages fly-tipping, it results in residents having to make longer car journeys, it goes against the council’s own climate change emergency recommendation. It makes no sense.”
No timescale has been set for closure but when it does close, the council has said residents living in the east of the borough will be able to use the recycling site at Abbey Road in Park Royal instead.
LB Ealing says it needs to make cuts in services to save money
A council spokesperson told The Chiswick Calendar the reason for the closure is the culmination of a decade of reduced funding from central government.
“Ealing Council is currently considering a number of budget proposals involving the borough’s waste services. One proposal includes consolidating waste and recycling operations to one main site at the larger Greenford Reuse and Recycling Centre.
“Funding from central government has fallen by 64% over the last 10 years. This means that, for every £1 the council used to receive it now gets just 36p”.
The projected revenue savings as a result of decommissioning the site at Stirling Rd are in the region of £125,000 per annum. In addition the land which is freed up by site closure is likely to be sold off to developers. A report commissioned by the Council’s regeneration team a couple of years ago valued the land at around £1.2m, so it is likely to be worth significantly more today.
Images above: LB Ealing Council Leader Julian Bell; Ealing Council offices
Reuse and Recycling centre at Stirling Rd is a target because it is relatively under used, says council
Earl Mckenzie, Assistant Director for Street Services at LB Ealing, told Cllr Steed that unlike most boroughs, Ealing currently has two household waste and recycling centres and according to the West London waste authority, Acton is probably the most expensive and least cost-effective site in London because of its size, through-put and user numbers.
‘Actual site usage and tonnages against all waste streams delivered to Acton have actually reduced year on year since 2017.
‘To be honest the site at Acton, although popular, provides a relatively limited recycling facility because of its small footprint and currently only 52% of waste delivered is recycled’ he said.
‘The site at Greenford has a throughput of 15,000t pa with a capacity for more than double that. The Acton site has a throughput of 4,064t pa so all of this waste could be accommodated at Greenford. That said, there is the availability of the site at Abbey Road and both provide better facilities for recycling, including DIY waste which is not accepted at Acton’.
The Abbey Rd reuse and recycling centre is 3.5 miles away from the Stirling Rd site, just off the North Circular Road, north of the Hangar Lane junction, in the borough of Brent NW10. Ealing residents are allowed to use it under an agreement between west London boroughs. The Greenford site is 6.2 miles away from the Stirling Rd site.
Petition against the closure
Ealing Liberal Democrats are organising a petition against the closure of the Stirling Rd centre.
‘Local opposition to closure is understood’ said Earl Mckenzie, ‘as the convenience of proximity will be missed. However this was the same when the Southall site was closed in 2012 and residents gradually became accustomed to using Greenford where the facilities are better.
‘With the new booking system across west London, access to sites is much better and the need for time consuming queuing has gone. To reduce the need for private car use, residents are encouraged to make use of the collection services offered by the Council and additional blue bins for recycling can be provided free of charge to all residents’.
Pressure on waste management provision is about to grow substantially in south Acton, as LB Ealing recently gave the green light to a development nearby on Bollo Lane of over 800 flats. The development will include ten tower blocks, one of which is 25-storeys high. Other planning applications for tower blocks of similar height are still pending approval in the area.
Ealing Council public meeting on the 2021-22 budget
Leading members of Ealing Council are due to hold a public meeting about the budget for 2021 – 2022 on Wednesday 24 February at 7.00pm. You can register for the Webinar with Cabinet Member for Finance and Leisure, Cllr Bassam Mahfouz and Council Leader Julian Bell here.
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: Bollo Lane ‘monster tower’ approved
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