COUNTY Hall has been considering plans to close down every recycling centre it operates in south Essex and create a supertip in Pitsea.
Leaked emails to the Echo reveal Essex County Council has earmarked tips in Rayleigh, Canvey, and Pitsea to close.
Residents would be asked to use a new, main Pitsea tip instead, sparking fears it could lead to a rise in flytipping in the area, with Basildon the flytipping hotspot of Essex.
It is understood the documents were produced during County Hall’s review of recycling centres in Essex, but the Tory administration insists no decision has been made on the opening or closing of any sites.
Melissa McGeorge, Labour Pitsea county councillor and the party’s candidate for Pitsea North West in the May borough elections, said: “This is again another example of residents being dumped on in Pitsea.
“The council is encouraging people to recycle, but they can’t expect people from other areas to travel 20 miles to visit a tip.”
County Hall claims the document, given to the Echo by a whistleblower, is “not current”.
However, the whistleblower has maintained it is the most recent prepared document on the subject.
The Tory authority runs 21 sites at an annual cost of £6.4million.
The plans propose to close 12 centres across Essex, with three new centres being built – the other two being in Maldon and Chigwell.
Resident Linda Kendall, of Lubbards Close, Rayleigh, said: “If you live in Eastwood, it’s going to be a nightmare as you’re talking about a 20-mile round trip just to get to a tip.
“I doubt many residents in the district will be happy with this proposal, especially with the traffic problems around the Fairglen Interchange on the A127.”
John Anderson, Canvey Independent councillor for Central ward, said: “If this goes ahead, this is another madcap scheme someone has thought up trying to save money, but in the end it will be the residents that suffer.
“I can imagine Pitsea will get a lot more busier if this happens. I must admit, I am very disappointed with County Hall.
“It’s not a good idea to ask Canvey residents to go all the way to Pitsea to use a tip.”
Basildon had the highest number of flytips in Essex in 2013 – with 3,777 reported incidents, costing the taxpayer £194,769 to clean up.
Rochford had 329 incidents costing £16,063 to remove, and Castle Point had to deal with 157 flytips, at a cost of £6,010.
The cost falls to the borough councils, not County Hall. Kerry Smith, Ukip county councillor forBasildon Westley Heights and the party’s candidate for Nethermayne in the borough elections, added: “This isn’t going to entice people to come from Rayleigh and Canvey and will lead to an increase in flytipping, and even higher bills for County Hall.”
Pitsea’s tip is located in Pitsea Hall Lane, Rayleigh’s is based in Castle Road, and Canvey’s is found in Canvey Road.
A consultation was launched into the future of recycling centres earlier this year.
The source said: “The document was circulated to politicians suggesting halving the number of sites.
“The consultation was effectively a sham from the start.
“Waste staff were unhappy about this proposal, which was being driven by the transformation support unit, which reports directly to the chief executive.”
A county council spokesman said: “This document was used last year as a discussion paper. It does not represent a concrete proposal under consideration.
There are currently no plans to close any recycling centres.”
IF a new Pitsea tip ever opens it will be the latest in a long line of rubbish dumped in the town.
Although the existing tip in Pitsea Hall Lane will be moved to a different site if the proposals ever come to fruition, it will still be an expansion of the current centre. That will be in addition to the £800million waste plant being built in Courtauld Road, to take 400,000 tonnes of black bag rubbish a year.
Alongside that are plans to build a second facility on the site, which will handle 65,000 tonnes of food and garden waste per year.
In the south of the area, Veolia’s Pitsea Landfill site, in Pitsea Hall Lane, accepts 800,000 tonnes of rubbish a year.
Heard Environmental is also building a new waste recycling depot on land south of Terminus Drive, Pitsea, which is expected to handle 49,000 tonnes of waste a year.
A further application to create an anaerobic waste digester is also in the pipeline for Marsh Farm, south of the A13.