Harborough councillor calls for three recycling and household waste sites to be reopened urgently
Cllr Knowles is worried the closures could become permanent
Three recycling and household waste sites in Harborough district have got to be fully reopened urgently, a leading councillor is demanding.
Cllr Phil Knowles said the ‘tips’ on the Riverside industrial estate in Market Harborough, Moorbarns Lane, Lutterworth, and at Kibworth Harcourt are used by thousands of people across South Leicestershire.
And he called for new restrictions imposed on the busy sites during the Covid-19 emergency stretching back to March last year to be lifted now.
“I want to shine a light on this inexplicable situation now.
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“I’ve asked our officers at Harborough council if they knew what was happening and they didn’t know anything,” said Cllr Knowles, who heads up the Liberal Democrats on Harborough council.
“So I’d like to know just what the county council is planning to do about our tips.
“We can all understand and appreciate why the county imposed new rules and regulations during the coronavirus outbreak.
“But I am very worried that the temporary measures introduced over the last 15 months or so will become permanent to try to cut costs.
“People here are still being forced to book ahead and set up appointments before being able to use these waste sites in Market Harborough, Lutterworth and Kibworth.
“And they are not open all the time either,” said Cllr Knowles.
“This is making it increasingly difficult for people right across Harborough to access our tips.
“I know people who have been specifically collecting rubbish to drop off but have been unable to do so.
“These sites are a vital resource, a critical asset to our district.
“The Covid restrictions are having a negative impact on recycling rates.
“I am looking for urgent reassurances from the county council that our tips will be fully reopened and will go back to operating normally as soon as is practical.
“I understand that the tips in Leicester city are all working now as they did before we were all hit by the coronavirus.
“So why isn’t that true for our sites across Leicestershire?
“Restricting public access to tips could also be fuelling more fly-tipping throughout Harborough.
“Fly-tipped rubbish is an eyesore and it threatens our entire environment and the countryside – so it’s the last thing we need.”
A Leicestershire County Council spokeswoman said the local authority will look again at their booking system for tips as the Government updates its pandemic guidance.
“We have three recycling and household waste sites in Harborough all open five days a week across seven days,” she said.
“We will review the use of the booking system, in accordance with social distancing guidance as it is updated.”