re3 recycling centres are introducing changes to how visitors access their sites following the decision by West Berkshire Council to end a joint recycling agreement.
From 1 July, the re3 recycling centres will only accept household waste from people living in the Bracknell Forest, Reading and Wokingham local authority areas.
The change has been prompted by West Berkshire Council giving notice that it intends to stop paying the re3 councils for waste delivered to re3 recycling centres by West Berkshire residents. The three re3 councils feel strongly that it is unfair to ask re3 area council tax payers to pay for waste management services for residents living in other local authorities.
Wokingham, Bracknell Forest and Reading residents will still be able to leave their household waste for free at the Bracknell and Reading recycling centres.
Every household in the re3 area will be sent a recycling centre permit in the post. Visitors should display the permit in their windscreen in order to access the recycling centres in Bracknell and Reading.
Alternative forms of ID will be accepted, but checking these documents will slow down access so residents are being asked to please use their windscreen permit.
re3 aims to carry out the access checks as quickly and efficiently as possible. They are vital to ensure fairness and that re3 residents do not pay for the processing of waste from residents in neighbouring local authorities.
Residents can plan their visit to the Bracknell centre by checking the webcam on the re3 website, with a similar webcam due to be installed at the Reading recycling centre shortly. Both sites are generally less busy on week days and mid-morning or late afternoon. During the summer months (April – September) both recycling centres are open from 8am to 8pm.
Wokingham Borough Council’s Executive Member for Environment Cllr Angus Ross said: “The decision to make these changes was thought about long and hard and taken in order to provide the most efficient, best value for money service to re3 residents. We’ve carried out research at other authorities around the country and similar changes appear to have worked well.”
Bracknell Forest’s Executive Member for Environment and Chair of the Joint Waste Disposal Board, Cllr Mrs Dorothy Hayes MBE said: “The introduction of the ID and visitor permit scheme has been prompted by West Berkshire Council’s decision to end the joint agreement they had with re3. It would not be fair to ask re3 residents to pay, via their council tax, for the disposal of the waste of those who live outside of the re3 area.
“The Bracknell recycling centre will also require ID or a permit for visitor access, alongside introducing this system at the Reading site. This is for two reasons. Firstly, to prevent a rush on the Bracknell facility if its access requirements were different to those at Reading, and secondly to stop residents from non-re3 authorities using the centre which is again unfair on re3 residents.”
Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Liz Terry said: “The recycling centres are paid for by re3 area residents for re3 area residents, and we feel strongly that as a partnership we should continue to provide the best possible waste processing service for Bracknell Forest, Reading and Wokingham. At a time when we are having to consider extremely difficult budget cuts, making savings and improving efficiency in waste management could help us to protect frontline services elsewhere.”
Once the access change has been implemented, there may be scope to review the situation and assess whether re3 would be able to admit non-re3 area visitors by charging a fee for them to deposit their waste at the Bracknell and Reading recycling centres.
For more information on the re3 recycling centres, please visit the re3 website or follow them on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.