Policy changes at East Sussex rubbish tips brought in during the pandemic could soon be made permanent.
The county council operates ten Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS), which in total receive a combined 1.6million visits per year and handle a quarter of the total waste residents produce.
The sites also recycle, compost or reuse almost 60 per cent of materials brought to them and accept 36 different types.
At the start of the pandemic in 2020 the sites all temporarily closed for around 11 weeks due to lockdown guidance.
According to council officers reopening the network ‘brought a period of challenge’ as the sites experience high levels of demand but were operating a restricted service to provide a safe environment for users.
The council reassessed some of the entry policies and restrictions. This is when changes were introduced to van and oversize vehicle access arrangements.
Such vehicles were only allowed to use the tips on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with Saturdays added a few months later.
Meanwhile non-household waste transactions at all sites – franchised and non-franchised – changed to become all cashless with only electronic means of payment accepted.
Now the lead member for transport and environment is due to consider proposals to confirm both of these changes as permanent at a meeting on Monday (November 21).
A customer satisfaction survey carried out by Veolia asked if people were happy for the restriction on vans and oversized vehicles to continue with 87.2 per cent saying their were happy or had no opinion. Of those who responded to the question about why they haven’t used a HWRS only 2.6 per cent said it was because they couldn’t use a van/trailer etc.
Since the council started charging for the disposal of some non-household waste, cash transactions hovered around 60 per cent and card payments around 40 per cent.
Officers noted this would removing the cost of paying for the secure transport of cash takings and provides full electronic documentation of all transactions, but could impact residents without bank accounts, although they could use a pre-paid card option.