Sandy Lane Community Recycling Centre (CRC) consultation


In 2017 we commissioned 'Resource Futures' to review our Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) so that they could identify efficiency savings and performance improvements that could be made.

We have a statutory duty to provide sites where residents can take their household waste free of charge and are reasonably accessible to residents. However the legislation does not specify how many sites an authority should provide, meaning it’s up to the authority to determine what is reasonably accessible based on local circumstances. 

Out of the three CRCs we provide, Gatewarth CRC is the largest and is located to the west of the town centre. Woolston, a smaller site than Gatewarth is located to the east with Stockton Heath CRC, the smallest of the three, located in the south of the town.

The Waste and Resources Action Partnership (WRAP) published a CRC Guide in 2012, which identified guidance for the level of provision of CRCs, which are detailed below alongside WBCF provision:

WRAP Guidelines Our CRC provision
Maximum catchment for a large proportion of the population of 3-5 miles (7 in very rural areas) Catchment area of 2.7 miles
Maximum driving times for the great majority of residents in good traffic conditions of twenty minutes (30 in very rural areas)  All residents can reach a site within twenty minutes’ drive (over 96% can reach a site within 15 minutes) in normal traffic
Maximum number of inhabitants per CRC of 120,000     The population is 207,700 , therefore there is one site for 69,000 inhabitants
Maximum number of households per CRC of 50,000 No. households is currently around, 91,000 therefore there is one site for  30,000 households

Given the guidelines above, it’s clear that we currently have more sites than necessary to fulfil our statutory duty.

Existing CRC network 

A CRC service review took place a number of years ago but no significant changes were made. However there’s a capital programme for improvements at Gatewarth and Woolston CRCs starting in October 2018 which will see a much improved experience for site users.

The network handles around 17,000 tonnes every year. The table below summarises the total tonnage of material handled by each site in 2016/17 with Gatewarth accepting around 42% of the total network tonnage, Woolston around 40% with the remainder going to Stockton Heath. 

Table 1: cost per tonne of currently operating each site

Site Operational hours weekly summer months Proportionate operational costs based on opening hours per year 2017/18 total tonnage Pro rata cost per tonne for operation of site
Gatewarth 70 £314,898 7341 £42.90
Woolston 50 £224,928 6077 £37.01
Stockton Heath 50 £224,928 2538 £88.62
Totals 170 £764,754 15956  

Current CRC users

A survey of 2176 site users over nine days at all three sites (three per site) in 2016 revealed that approximately 40% of those who took the survey visit the site monthly or more frequently with 60% visiting every few months to once a year. Site visitors were also asked if they only used the site at which they were surveyed or used other sites. 78% of those questioned only used the site they visited, but those using Stockton Heath were more likely to also use a second site (usually Woolston). 

Table 2: Site use

  Woolston Gatewarth Stockton Heath Total
No other site 78% 85% 63% 78%
Gatewarth 11%   10% 6%
Sandy Lane 10% 6%   7%
Woolston   9% 28% 9%

The individual levels of waste received by each site over previous financial years (2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18) demonstrates a slight growth in waste volumes at Gatewarth between 2015 and 2018 however a reduction in levels at Woolston of 11% and Stockton Heath of 18%. The data also shows the level of green waste deposited at the recycling centres increasing at Gatewarth and Woolston but reducing by 58.5 tonnes or 8% over the three years at Stockton Heath. Levels of residual or general waste deposited at Stockton Heath have reduced by 330 tonnes or 30.3% since the 2014/15 financial year.

Given the current site constraints of Stockton Heath with its size and access restrictions, together with the impact on immediate neighbours, we believe that obtaining the required Environmental Permit would be challenging, in respect to both achieving technical and environmental specification compliance. 

Given all of this information we'd like you to complete our consultation and let us know your thoughts.

Please complete our online consultation before 29 July 2018.