Former MP wants household waste sites re-opening

FORMER Staffordshire Moorlands Labour MP Charlotte Atkins is calling for household waste centres across Staffordshire to be re-opened. The Labour group leader on Staffordshire County Council has expressed concerns about an increase in fly-tipping since the centres were closed due to the coronavirus lockdown. Coun Atkins believes social distancing would be possible if the sites were re-opened. She said: "People queue to get into supermarkets, so why not in their cars at recycling centres? "Some councils have already reopened their tips as disposing of excess waste has now become vital for many families who are generating far more while stuck at home trying to keep their children occupied and safe. "I am sure our ingenious Staffordshire County Council staff could find a way to reopen the sites for limited periods with access controlled. Otherwise we are going to be overwhelmed by more fly-tipping." Coun Atkins is also concerned about the dangers created by people burning rubbish at home. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service recently appealed to householders not to light bonfires because of the risk to safety and damage to property. The appeal was made after embers from a bonfire were blamed for starting a serious barnhouse blaze at Barton-under-Needwood. Deputy Fire Chief Rob Barber said: “We’ve had a number of bonfire related incidents over the past weeks that have added extra pressure onto us during, what is already, a difficult period. “Fire can spread very quickly and we have seen recent examples where fires have started and spread to houses and buildings as a direct result of people burning their garden waste. “We’re working tirelessly with all local partners to meet the challenges brought to us by the Covid-19 lockdown and to reduce the demand on our fabulous NHS. This work isn’t helped by these types of incidents with people potentially creating an added burden to our hospitals should they attempt on tackling these blazes themselves. “We understand that Covid-19 is having a huge impact on people’s daily lives and while it’s great that people are staying at home to help save lives, choosing to start a bonfire could also put lives at risk so please don’t start them and use the services provided when disposing of any waste.”

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