by Leslie Jackson
WASTE recycling facilities in Leek could be extended to seven days a week.
Staffordshire County Council said this week that household waste recycling centres will be open longer with residents able to recycle more items – including carpets, mattresses and hard plastics.
The improved service follows the introduction of a new contract with waste and resource firm FCC Environment and will result in average savings of £240,000 a year.
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet approved a new contract in June. It means that all household waste recycling centres in Staffordshire will be open for longer with some introducing additional opening days.
Winter opening, which starts on October 28, will be extended by half-an-hour to 5pm at 13 waste recycling centres.
Openings will be extended to seven days at four centres, including Leek, at a date to be confirmed.
In addition to the improved recycling facilities, small businesses and sole traders will be able to benefit from a new service provided at the centres at affordable prices.
The centres will also facilitate better handling of larger items of waste and allow more efficient disposal of fly-tipped waste collected by district and borough councils.
New reuse opportunities will also be available at the sites – giving people the chance to make use of goods no longer wanted by others.
Sites will soon undergo refurbishment, including installation of new equipment where needed. All new waste compacting equipment will come from Staffordshire firm JCB.
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet support member for environment and rural affairs Gill Heath, who represents Leek Rural, said: "We want to make it as easy as possible for people to recycle used items and our new contract with FCC is enabling us to do so.
"People will see the improved facilities being gradually phased in at sites across the county. They will include longer opening hours, new services for small businesses and more people on hand to help at each centre; meaning a better all-round experience for centre visitors. In addition, we will be achieving annual savings of £240,000 resulting in an efficient and best value for money service.
"Our new waste recycling centre arrangements will be a real winner for Staffordshire people, businesses and the environment. This is another example of how we’re improving how we operate, running an efficient county council and getting the best value for money for Staffordshire people."
FCC Environment’s head of group development Steve Longdon said: "FCC Environment is the leading operator of household waste recycling centres in the UK. We know that our experience and expertise will help to significantly improve re-use and recycling rates in Staffordshire in a cost effective way."