Friday, 19 August 2022

£25,000 bill to make waste store lawful

HENLEY Town Council may have to spend up to £25,000 to make its waste store legal.

It is to seek permission from the Environment Agency for a waste transfer station at its depot near Tesco, off Reading Road, where it has been keeping trade waste unlawfully since July.

Councillors have agreed to pay £8,256 for a bespoke environmental permit, which is required as the depot is within 200m of a workplace, and a yearly fee of £1,030 for waste stored prior to recycling.

But now it has been revealed that the council will need to pay a consultant for help in applying for the permit as it requires a specialist risk assessment, a written code of management showing how it would prevent pollution and a fire prevention plan.

It has sought quotes but town clerk Janet Wheeler said the total cost would be £20,000 to £25,000.

In a report to councillors last year, she said: “This is a major commitment for the council and the costs in the area of expertise needed are largely unknown.

“However, the streets need to be clear and the litter problem is likely to get worse next summer when the town once again hosts internationally acclaimed events such as the regatta and the many festivals.

“There are no short cuts and if we go ahead with this it must be done properly.”

The problem began when contractor Grundon Waste Management switched its town centre collections from the evenings to the mornings, leaving scores of full rubbish sacks on the streets overnight.

Concerned about the impact on the night-time economy, the council arranged for these to be moved to the depot by another contractor for Grundon to collect the next day.

Grundon then agreed to re-start evening collections but only to move rubbish to the Reading Road site.

However, the Environment Agency then said the storage of waste was unlawful, albeit the council “had the right intentions”.

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