Tipping point: Hunt is on to find site for replacement recycling centre for Norwich when Mile Cross tip closes

Council bosses need to find a replacement for the Mile Cross Recycling Centre. Photo: Bill Smith.

Council bosses need to find a replacement for the Mile Cross Recycling Centre. Photo: Bill Smith. - Credit: Archant © 2008

The race is on to find a site where people in Norwich can take waste and recycling, with councillors today set to pull the plug on what could have replaced the Mile Cross tip.

The Mile Cross Recycling Centre. Picture: James Bass.

The Mile Cross Recycling Centre. Picture: James Bass. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2007

The contract for the Mile Cross Recycling Centre, in Swanton Road - the main tip used by people in Norwich - runs out in September 2021.

Norfolk County Council, which rents that site, is ready to spend £2.75m on a replacement - but their plans have suffered a blow.

Along with Broadland District Council, they had worked up a business case for a replacement recycling centre, as part of a scheme called the Norwich Depot Hub, on land near Norwich International Airport.

Along with the recycling centre, it would have integrated highway maintenance, street cleaning vehicles and a salt store for gritting, on a single site.

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But members of Norfolk County Council's environment, development and transport committee will today be told the Depot Hub would not make enough savings to justify the outlay, so it should be abandoned.

That still leaves County Hall needing to provide a new recycling centre for the city.

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The council needs to secure land for development, go through relevant consultation, obtain planning consent and build the facility before the expiry of the current contract in 2021.

A final decision on where the centre should be built will need to be made by the end of this year, to allow time for all that to happen.

While the council still hopes a recycling centre can be provided at a site near the airport - and talks are ongoing - they are having to explore alternative sites in case that falls through.

And County Hall officers acknowledge failure to provide a replacement recycling centre could result in 'reputational damage' and 'compromise its ability' to meet its statutory responsibilities as a waste disposal authority.

But a council spokeswoman said they were confident a site would be found.

She said:'Work on identifying potential sites is well underway and to help us shape a design we'll soon be asking for people's views on what they'd like to see at a new recycling centre to help make reuse and recycling easy.'

Criticism has recently been levelled against the council after the introduction of charges for DIY waste at recycling centres.

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