New fears have been voiced that a plan to cut the opening hours of the district’s tips will lead to a rise in fly-tipping.
Bradford Council – which runs eight household waste-recycling centres across the district, including the Sugden End site near Cross Roads and the Royd Ings Avenue, Keighley, plant – proposes to reduce opening times to save nearly £200,000 over two years.
All tips are currently open seven days a week but the authority says numbers are low in the early morning and during weekdays.
So the plan is to “maximise efficiency” by opening one hour less each day. Each site would also close for two days a week.
None of the full-day closures would happen on weekends and at least four sites would be open each day across the district.
The plan forms part of the council’s budget proposal for the next two years, which has been put out to public consultation.
The results of this consultation are now being processed and the Labour administration is expected to announce its finalised budget plan on Tuesday, ahead of a full council budget meeting on February 20.
Marie Parkin, of Keighley, said she was “shocked” when she heard of the plan.
She added: “My main concern is if the sites are running on reduced opening hours, will this increase the likelihood of fly-tipping? In my opinion, absolutely, yes.”
The council’s Conservative group also has concerns. Its leader, Worth Valley councillor Glen Miller, said people who went to the tip only to find it shut would be more likely to fly-tip.
He added: “They will sling it at the sides of the roads. I see it all the time.”
He also said he was worried that two-day closing would become “three days, then four days”.
Worth Valley councillor Rebecca Poulsen previously led a campaign to save the Sugden End site from closure.
“Residents in the Worth Valley have already seen a lot of changes related to recycling and, for some, this may be a step too far,” she said.
“I also fear the new hours could be the thin end of the wedge and might ultimately lead to further reductions.”
But Coun Andrew Thornton, Labour’s executive member for waste, said Tory comments were “entirely speculation”. He added: “I don’t view it at all as the thin end of the wedge.” And he stressed they were considering public feedback on the proposals, with no final decision made.