Forest Row Waste and Recycling – Options Appraisal

Back in September 2018 our waste and recycling centre (often fondly referred to as the Tip) closed its gates for the last time. Faced with the task of maintaining crucial services like Education, Social Care and Community Safety the County Council had decided that our tip was no longer cost effective.

For many residents the facility at the bottom of Station Road was more than just a Tip. Forest Row prides itself on being innovative and doing things a little bit differently and the tip was no different. It had a shop which resembled Aladdin’s Cave and helpful staff to advise on recycling options and the safe disposal of the ‘stuff’ we no longer had any use for. Ironically closure of the Tip also seems to have coincided with an explosion of national and international concern about the impact that our disposable society is having on the planet!

Mindful of residents concerns the Parish Council established a small working group to undertake an appraisal (including financial and operational implications) of providing some form of alternative which residents could access locally. The Council has been successful in attracting some external funding to progress this project.

This has turned out to be an exciting piece of work, and negotiations with the County Council over the future of the redundant site are ongoing. The working group is also exploring possible synergies with other activities such an enhanced repair café and some form of recycling/charity shop type of facility to act as a potential focal point and income generator to help in sustaining a new recycling and waste disposal service. Members of the working group have also been able to visit similar facilities in other locations, and this has helped in shaping our ideas.

Of course, whatever ideas the working group comes up with our final recommendations back to the Parish Council will have to meet two fundamental criteria:

1 Any new facilities will have to be sustainable, both from an environmental and a financial perspective. One option under consideration is the establishment of a Community Interest Company (CIC) to develop and manage any new facilities. The CIC would be financially autonomous from the Parish Council and would operate on a not for profit basis. The financial permutations are complex and negotiations with potential service partners and the County Council are ongoing.

2 Most importantly, we need to be confident that any services under consideration reflect the requirements and priorities of Forest Row residents. This brings me nicely onto the main purpose of this article which is to encourage as many of you as possible to complete our online questionnaire which you will find by following the link below. Completing the questionnaire will only take a few moments of your time and will greatly assist us in the work we are undertaking on your behalf.

CLICK HERE to complete the short survey:

Cllr Eva DAVIES Chair Waste and Recycling Working Group Forest Row Parish Council