Basildon COUNCIL is expanding its Barleylands waste depot to reduce transport costs.

The council currently transports garden and food waste to a site in Boreham, Chelmsford, but it has launched a review to find a more cost-effective way of dealing with it.

All kerbside green waste is taken to Chelmsford daily, once each dustcart is full, so the council is seeking planning permission to construct a storage area for large amounts of recycling at its depot in Barleylands Road, Billericay.

This will mean dustcarts will empty green waste at the site, to be collected by a large vehicle, which will make a series of trips to dispose of the waste in Chelmsford.

Malcolm Buckley, councillor responsible for environment at Basildon Council, said: “We want to use a more effective way to transport green waste which could help save each vehicle a 20-mile journey there and back.

“The council wants to ensure the plans are efficient and are in line with Environment Agency guidelines.

“I would like to reassure the public that the site will be controlled with the correct storage facilities, and will only have green waste there for a short period, which will be emptied regularly.”

James Hendry, waste management officer at the council, said the plans were at an early stage.

He said: “The planning application intends to help give us scope for how best to transport our green waste and storage facilities.

“No decisions have been made about the site because we are at a very early stage.”

This latest move to make Basildon greener comes after an application to fit solar panels on at least 100 properties across the borough was announced, in a bid to drive down electricity and heating bills for residents.