Walsall tips staying open seven days a week after trial success
Tips in Walsall could now remain open seven days a week until at least 2021.
Council bosses say the increased opening hours have cut the amount of fly-tipping almost in half.
Walsall Council cabinet members have said new opening hours – which originally started as a three-month trial – had been successful and want to roll the scheme out for the next few years.
The sites in Fryers Road, Bloxwich, and Merchants Way, Aldridge, used to be open six days each week until their hours were reduced as part of council budget cuts in 2014.
The week-long opening was introduced in autumn last year to tackle fly-tipping in the borough. Each tip is now open daily from 8am until 6pm apart from one day a week when the hours are moved two hours later.
In Aldridge that is on Tuesdays and in Bloxwich the later hours are on Thursdays.
The hours were one of three schemes trialled by the council alongside free bulky collections at the kerbside and free bulky item skip days.
Each trial was rolled out separately to analyse their effectiveness.
Cabinet member, Councillor Oliver Butler, said: “During the trial of longer opening hours at the tips there was a decrease in fly-tipping and the tonnage of general waste processed increased by 43 per cent. Feedback from residents was also really positive.
“During the period that the free bulky collection trial was in operation there was a 38 per cent increase in items collected. Unfortunately fly-tipping actually increased when the bulky skip day trials were taking place.
“Based on the outcomes from the trials, I will be recommending to cabinet colleagues that funding is made available to open our tips in Aldridge and Bloxwich seven days per week, with each site also being open late one night per week as well.
“I will also be asking cabinet colleagues to approve a reduction in the charge for bulky collections from £15 to £10, which means residents will be able to have every third item collected free of charge from April 2020.”
Over the last five financial years, cleaning up fly-tipped waste in Walsall has cost the local authority £1.753m, which could have paid for 40 teachers, for the repair of 8,551 potholes, or run one of the Active Living leisure centres.