Residents have provided a positive response to the opening of the new household waste recycling centre (HWRC) for Chester.
The new centre, next to the old site on Bumper’s Lane, is the largest in the borough and offers residents a quicker and more efficient service, as well as improved traffic flow for visitors both inside and outside the site.
Chronicle reader Donna Dunn said on Facebook: “What a fantastic set up! The guy at the entrance was really helpful and a bit of a comedian. The parking bays are much safer. Apparently they are opening a shop on site where you can buy recycled items.”
Steve Byrne said: “I used it yesterday not knowing it was new. Very nice and well organised. The staff are helpful to make sure the rubbish is properly disposed of. The lass with the bodycam was a little over the top but overall I’m impressed.”
Cllr Karen Shore, Cheshire West and Chester Cabinet member for the environment, said: “The previous Chester site was one of the smallest, yet busiest in the borough. Not only did this limit recycling performance, it also impacted upon customer experience. The new centre has been carefully designed.
“It is the largest in the borough and addresses previous traffic issues. It will revitalise the derelict site which has been turned into a cutting edge new facility.”
Chester’s new HWRC has been built on a site which was historically used to store waste before transfer to landfill.
Due to the site’s unique construction it had been derelict since the early 90s and considered too expensive to redevelop.
Teaming up with Probation Services the site was cleared of vegetation and over the last six months MPH Construction has renovated and enhanced it, ensuring it meets both current design and environmental permit standards.
This approach has not only revived a derelict site, it has also allowed the new Chester HWRC to be developed for around a third of the cost of a typical new facility.
Together with a £120,000 contribution from HW Martin, the project will have cost the authority around £890,000, far less than the likely £3.5 to £4 million cost of developing a new site.
Andy Roberts from MPH said: “The new Household Waste Recycling Centre has been carefully designed and built to make the most of the old site.
“MPH Construction is proud to have supported the council in breathing new life back into this brownfield site.
“We hope the residents of the borough enjoy using it for many years to come”
CCTV, automatic number plate recognition, mystery shoppers and body camera technology have been introduced to improve the service and site safety.
A new trade waste recycling centre will open in July on the site of Chester’s old HWRC.
This ‘pay as you throw’ facility allows small and medium sized traders to recycle their waste for a low cost price.
Traders will be charged by the weight of the item they are leaving and items will be priced based on the material type.
Also opening in July is a Reuse shop. Items which people have left at sites across the borough such as bric-a-brac, small electricals and furniture will be made available for sale at the shop after they have been safety tested.
A spokesman at HW Martin Waste Ltd said: “As the HWRC operator for the borough, having worked within the constraints of the old Chester site, we welcomed this opportunity to help develop a new facility.
“Residents will enjoy significant improvements over the old site.
“The measures put in place such as ANPR will help us to ensure that only residents of the borough will be able to deposit their household wastes.
“This will mean a quick and easy experience for those residents and enhance the recycling performance of the borough.
“With the opening of the trade waste recycling facility next-door, local businesses will have a convenient and affordable place to bring their waste and contribute to recycling.
“HW Martin Waste Ltd operates many HWRCs across the country and the Chester transformation puts it at the leading edge of these for management and performance.”
The new site will be open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday during summer and 8am to 4pm in winter.