Household Waste Recycling Sites – Have Your Say

Closed 15 May 2018

Opened 22 Feb 2018


We’re asking for your views on proposals for changes to our Household Waste Recycling Sites.

As part of our 30 year contract with Veolia, we’ve built facilities to deal with your recycling and garden waste and to recover energy from what goes into your bin. We want to keep waste to a minimum and get as much useful material as possible out of the dustbin and reused or recycled. We also provide places for you to take your waste and recycling.

In 2016/17, East Sussex residents together with the borough and district councils and the County Council recycled, reused or recovered energy from 95% of our household waste and only 5% went to landfill.

We carried out a review of our Household Waste Recycling Site service to try to identify where we might be able to make additional savings.

In this consultation, we’ll ask you what you think about the specific proposals and our overall approach.

Why your views matter

Our waste service has a contract with Veolia to run our twelve Household Waste Recycling Sites for us, where 66,000 tonnes of waste and recycling are taken yearly. This is about a quarter of the waste that East Sussex residents produce, the rest is collected from homes, litter bins and streets. We want to get the maximum value out of waste, and almost sixty per cent of the waste brought to the sites is recycled, composted or reused, with most of the rest used as fuel for energy.

It costs nearly £10 million a year to run our sites and to recycle and dispose of all the waste that residents bring. Savings have already been made since 2014 by reducing opening hours at three of our twelve sites.

We now need to reduce our annual Waste and Recycling budget by £720,000, while providing residents with a reasonably accessible Household Waste Recycling Site service. And in future years we may have to make even more savings as a result of the budget pressures we continue to face.

The Council has already made savings of around £112 million this decade. Due to further cuts in council funding from the Government, we need to save an extra £47 million by 2021, with £17 million to be saved in the next financial year. Meanwhile we need to protect services for the most vulnerable.

It is getting more difficult to find ways to make savings and tough choices will have to be made by the Council’s elected Members.

Our Household Waste Recycling Site Review

The review of our Household Waste Recycling Sites looked at ways of making savings while considering residents’ needs. We looked at a variety of information, including use of the sites and our legal duties. We found that:

Disposal of certain types of waste is expensive
Disposal of items such as soil, rubble, plasterboard, tyres and asbestos is costly for us compared to other councils which charge residents to dispose of these waste types at their recycling sites - in East Sussex we don’t charge.

We can still provide a good service with fewer Household Waste Recycling Sites
In East Sussex we offer an above average number of recycling sites compared with similar councils. We assessed our sites looking at aspects like the number of visits, how much waste is brought and how much they cost to run. Over 98% of residents are currently able to reach a site within a 20 minute drive. If the smaller, part-time sites at Forest Row and Wadhurst closed, over 98% of residents would still be able to reach a site within a 20 minute drive and our nearest remaining sites would have space for the additional waste.

Opening hours at the recycling sites could be altered to fit better with demand
Weekends are the busiest time for the sites. Most of our sites open all day at weekends, but Eastbourne and Crowborough only open in the morning. We think opening these two sites for longer at weekends would improve the service for residents. Most of the sites are less busy during the week, especially at the beginning and the end of the day. We may be able to reduce our costs if we closed the sites during quieter times in the week.

Hailsham Household Waste Recycling Site could work better
The Hailsham site has the poorest recycling rate of all the sites. Improving the site layout would mean more waste could be separated for recycling. This would reduce costs and provide a better service for customers.

Fly-tipping is not likely to increase as a result of changes
We looked carefully at evidence from councils who’ve made similar changes to those we’re proposing, including Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex. They saw no increase in fly-tipping, or just a slight increase in line with national trends. We haven’t found clear evidence to show that residents will fly-tip if they can’t use a site, or if they have to pay for something that used to be free. If we make site changes, we’ll check local fly-tip data for signs of an impact. We’ll also continue to work with the district and borough councils, the Environment Agency and the Police to prevent and deal with fly-tipping.

For more information see the Household Waste Recycling Site review report and the FAQs on our website.

What changes are proposed?

As a result of the recycling site review, we’re now proposing to make these changes:

  • Charge for certain waste types that are not ‘household waste’, i.e. rubble, soil, plasterboard, tyres and asbestos.
  • Close the part-time recycling sites at Forest Row and Wadhurst.
  • Change recycling site opening hours to better suit demand.
  • Improve the layout of Hailsham recycling site.

We believe we can make these changes while maintaining a good level of service for residents.

How to take part in this consultation

Complete the following survey by midnight on 15 May 2018 – we expect it to take around 15 minutes to complete.

If you need the survey in another format e.g. a paper copy, call us on
0345 60 80 194 or email us at

If you need more help to take part in the survey, please let us know.

We’d like to hear from any residents of East Sussex, whether you’re a regular user of our recycling sites or not. We also welcome feedback from charitable or community organisations with an interest in the service.


What happens next

At this stage, no decision has been made on our proposals.

Once the consultation is complete, your views will be presented to East Sussex County Council’s Cabinet in June 2018 to help them make a final decision. We aim to start introducing any changes agreed by Cabinet later this year.


  • All Areas


  • Anyone from any background


  • Rubbish and recycling