Castle Road recycling centre in Rayleigh is often complained about on social media. It appears to me that Essex County Council has been dragging their heels for some time to look at what can be done to reduce the burden on the infrastructure surrounding the site and meet the demands of the residents of the district.
With this in mind, I recently wrote to the Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh South, Cllr June Lumley to raise the issue.
It would appear that Essex County Council has several plans for the site and here is a copy of the response I received – the author of the response, however, is unidentified in the response I received.
As you are aware I am concerned about the issues in Rayleigh and we have started work on a 3 stage plan to help residents both in the Castle Road area and indeed those from the eastern parts of the district who have longer travel times only to find the site closed. This is for safety reasons as you know Castle Road is a small site.
1. Short Term – We are progressing with the development of a trial vehicle booking system which would include Rayleigh. We have not introduced this sooner as the Covid impact on waste collection services meant it was imperative we did not restrict access to the recycling centres. We anticipate this will be ready to launch later this year. We need to recognise that this will place limits on the number of users permitted into the centre at peak times which may be criticised by users, we are obviously looking for the support of local Members when we are ready to launch this.
2. Medium Term – the recycling centre operation comes in-house from April 2022 – we will be looking at the network as a whole to see how operational changes can be made in the way the sites operate and are serviced to reduce pressure – as we develop our thinking around this we will of course engage with local Members
3. Longer term – we are caring out an optimisation study of the network as a whole which will consider how the network can be reconfigured and the options for disposal and establishing new sites. I have spoken to Cllr Wootten and RDC officers to see if other suitable sites can be identified.
I appreciate this is not an immediate resolution, but can assure you that the issues in Rayleigh remain a high priority.