Essex County Council is launching a new survey to look at how residents use recycling services across the county, starting on Monday (January 27).

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This survey is the start of a process to review and understand how recycling centres need to change in order to meet the long term requirements of residents.

The council currently operates 21 recycling centres, at an annual cost of around £6.4m.

A spokesman for the county council said: “Significant investment in kerbside recycling services has been made in recent years by ECC and district, borough and city councils, which has resulted in fewer residents needing to dispose of waste at recycling centres.

“In addition, although many of the centres are modern purpose-built facilities, it may be the case that some of the older sites may no longer be best placed to meet the needs of a modern recycling centre.

“ECC is currently facing significant financial challenges and needs to make savings of at least £235m over the next three years. The authority is therefore reviewing spend across all services, and waste management activities have to make a contribution towards this savings target.”

The survey will ask residents how they use the recycling centres and other recycling services at present, and what the most important features of the service are to them.

County Councillor Roger Walters, Cabinet Member for Waste & Recycling, added: “The council is keen to ensure that it continues to provide the very best recycling services for residents. However, maintaining expenditure at existing levels in the current financial climate is unsustainable, and we have to look at where efficiency savings could be made.

“We are keen for as many residents as possible to complete this survey, to find out what is most important to them about our recycling centre service.

“The responses we receive will be carefully considered and reviewed alongside information we already hold on recycling centre usage.”

The survey will be available to complete from Monday, January 27 at essex.gov.uk/recyclingcentres. Paper copies of the survey will be available to pick up at libraries and recycling centres. The survey is open until Sunday, April 20.

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