Four Surrey recycling centres could be closed under proposed changes by the cash-strapped county council as it attempts to balance its budget.

Ending residents’ free daily allowance of non-household waste, closing the county’s recycling centres on two weekdays, and barring vans, trailers and pick-up trucks from smaller dumps are among other Surrey County Council proposals to save money.

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From April: Residents launch petition urging Surrey County Council to scrap recycling charges amidst fly-tipping fears

The opposition claims the cut-backs will result in more fly-tipping across Surrey – adding to fears raised by residents who launched a petition against new recycling charges introduced last September.

But the council argues cuts at its 15 community recycling centres (CRCs), at which 113,000 tonnes of waste are processed every year, are necessary. In a press release on its website, the county council insist a “high-quality service” will be maintained as it tries to make more than £100million worth of savings to offset sustained Tory austerity.

Your Local Guardian:

But Councillor Stephen Cooksey (pictured below), Liberal Democrat spokesperson for environment and highways, claimed the “arrogant” Conservative cabinet’s proposals are “a green light for fly-tipping in Surrey”.

Your Local Guardian:

“The Conservatives at county hall are making it harder and harder for people to do the right thing and dispose of their waste responsibly. The environmental consequence of discouraging the use of recycling centres would be very significant.

“I am totally opposed to these planned closures and urge residents to make their voices heard to tell this out of touch and arrogant county council exactly what they think of their proposals."

Mike Goodman, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for environment and planning, and dismissed Cllr Cooksey’s suggestion that fly-tipping would increase, citing a reduction in fly-tipping across Surrey amounting to more than 1,000 tonnes over the past year.

He added: “We face very tough decisions and we very much regret having to make these proposals but we have to save more than £100million this year alone, including £2million from community recycling centres, to deal with rising demand for things like children’s services, adult social care and school places.”

Surrey County Council launches a consultation on its CRCs tomorrow, in which five changes are proposed:

  • Ending the free daily allowance of non-household waste;
  • Closing CRCs on two weekdays so all sites are open for five days a week;
  • Ensuring CRCs in Camberley and Farnham are only used by Surrey residents;
  • Permanent closure of four smaller CRCs – Bagshot, Cranleigh, Warlingham and Dorking;
  • Restricting users of vans, trailers and pick-ups to larger CRCs only.

Your Local Guardian:

Councillor Goodman (pictured above) added: “Our proposals would mean there would still be a comprehensive network of CRCs across the county.”

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The government has cut the council’s annual grant by £170million since 2010, while demand for adult social care, learning disabilities, and children’s services is increasing.

Earlier this year, the Conservative cabinet at county hall approved £72million worth of cuts from frontline services across the next five years.

From March: Surrey County Council plans to cut millions of pounds from frontline services in face of Conservative austerity

Outlining the reasons behind the consultation, which runs from tomorrow (Friday, June 23) to August 7, a council officer wrote: “Continued cuts to funding, rising costs and increasing demand for key services means that the need for Surrey County Council (SCC) to find savings has reached unprecedented levels.

“We are determined to meet our responsibilities and will continue to support our residents as effectively as we can, but despite having achieved £450million worth of savings since 2010, changes to services are still needed to deliver the required savings.”

For more information, and to take part in the consultation, visit