Agenda item

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) - Container Exchanges

[Electoral Divisions: All Barrow]


To consider a briefing note from the Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (copy enclosed).


The briefing note provides an update on the closure of Project Furness HWRC during container exchanges and the associated queuing and complaints received from the public.



The Committee received an update on the closure of Project Furness Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) during container exchanges and the associated queuing and complaints received from the public.


Members were informed that as part of the 25 years Contract in place until 2034 Renewi Cumbria Limited were responsible for the Project Furness HWRC in Barrow-in?Furness which included responsibility for all aspects of health and safety.


The Local Committee was informed that following routine audits a number of issues were raised by Cumbria County Council in relation to health and safety and management of HWRCs, including that the procedures for the container exchanges at the HWRCs were not being followed by the site staff.  It was explained that following risk assessments and safe working a decision had been taken by Renewi to temporarily close most HWRCs (including Project Furness HWRC) during servicing of the containers.


Members raised their concerns regarding the lack of action undertaken by the Contractor following health and safety audits.  It was felt the Contractor should take responsibility for the costs which may be incurred due to the traffic issues they had created on the A590 due to queuing traffic. 


During the course of discussion the increase in fly tipping due to the problems at the HWRC was highlighted.  The Committee felt that the Cabinet should be made aware of the issues and their concerns.


Members were informed that the need to redevelop Project Furness had been recognised in the past and although the closure of this HWRC during skip exchanges had increased the queuing on the A590, this had always been an issue at busy times.  It was explained that  due to contractual issues and availability of resources it had not been possible to redevelop this HWRC and address this issue.


The Committee was informed that the Authority was currently undertaking a feasibility study to look at the practicability of redesigning the current site and the possibility of relocation to a different site in Barrow?in?Furness area was also being investigated.  It was explained that the source of funding for those works would be given full consideration as part of the feasibility study but it was highlighted that currently no funding was available.  It was also highlighted that the Contractor may seek compensation if the site was relocated.


Members noted the short?term options which had been explored with Renewi to minimise the temporary closure of the HWRC during opening hours for container exchanges.


The Local Committee were informed that the next steps included the conclusion of a Progress Feasibility Study before a full review and consideration of options for the future took place.  It was highlighted that in the meantime discussions would continue with Renewi with regards to options to try and improve the access and egress of the site in the short term.


Members emphasised their serious concerns regarding safety on the highway due to the effects of queuing traffic on the A590 during container exchanges.  The Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services confirmed that their concerns would be brought to the attention of the Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure for escalation to the Contractor. 


The Waste Operational Manager requested that any further complaints be forwarded directed to her and she would draw them to the attention of the Contractor.


RESOLVED,   that an update report be considered at a future meeting of Barrow Local Committee.


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