MORE people are visiting Northwich’s tip than Winsford’s despite the council cutting the site’s opening hours more than two years ago.

While Cheshire West and Chester Council’s household waste recycling centre is open seven days a week throughout the year, Northwich’s site is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

CWAC cut the hours for Northwich in April 2017 as part of wider changes to the borough’s recycling centres under a new contract with HW Martin Ltd – which has seen the council save £250,000 a year.

But according to figures presented to a CWAC committee on Monday night, Northwich’s tip was visited 166,381 times in 2018-19, compared to 141,265 visits to Winsford – a difference of 25,116.

Cllr Sam Naylor, Labour member for Northwich Witton, told CWAC’s places overview and scrutiny committee that the cut in hours is ‘still a really sore point’ for some of the town’s residents – and suggested the two sites ‘need to be looked at carefully’.

He added: “We’ve got to look at reducing the carbon footprint.

Northwich Guardian:

“When the decision was taken to close it two days a week it was received very, very negatively by lots of people in Northwich.

“I go to Winsford, Winsford’s a bigger site, but I think we’ve got to look at ways where we can perhaps look at things differently.”

However, despite having lower visitor numbers, Winsford’s tip dealt with a higher amount of waste in 2018-19 at 6,987 tonnes compared to 6,683 tonnes at Northwich.

Recycling was more common at Northwich in 2018-19 – with 60.5 per cent of the site’s waste recycled, compared to 58.1 per cent in Winsford.

In 2017-18 – the first year of the new opening hours – there were three incidents of fly-tipping outside the gates of Northwich’s tip, compared to just one in 2018-19.

Meanwhile in Winsford, there were two incidents of fly-tipping outside the gates in each of the past two years.

Cllr Elton Watson, Conservative member for Davenham and Moulton, suggested it would be ‘interesting’ to know if the April 2017 changes had an impact on fly-tipping elsewhere in the borough.

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“I saw the figure for last year and it was more than £250,000 spent on clearing fly-tipping,” he said.

But Cllr Andrew Cooper, Labour member for Northwich Leftwich, warned that ‘correlation doesn’t mean causation’ – and CWAC would have to look at a wide range of data before drawing conclusions about the opening times’ effect on fly-tipping.