DISTRICT councillors have celebrated the re-opening of Kidderminster Household Recycling Centre (HRC) by Worcestershire County Council, labelling it “excellent news for local residents”.
Independents John Aston, Helen Dyke and Peter Dyke collected a petition earlier this year – which attracted around 2,000 signatures - against a potential permanent closure of the site and their efforts came to fruition when the facility welcomed the public again from 8am this morning.
The trio, who represent the Aggborough and Spennells ward at Wyre Forest District Council, however added that they did not know how long the HRC would remain open and were ready to renew their campaigning if needed.
Mr Aston said: “The site opening its doors again is a great victory.
“We pursued the issue vigorously and we did our very best to get this result which we can now rejoice.
“Rumours of a permanent closure created a huge outcry and it was a matter of real importance for local people.
“But we don’t know what the county council’s longer-term plans are for the facility.”
Mrs Dyke added: “It is great the HRC has re-opened for business.
“This is victory in stage one but as district councillors we need to be vigilant to see what the county council does next.
“There are no guarantees in place and the future of the site is not necessarily safe so we will be campaigning again if it comes to that.
“We would like to thank the residents for their huge support and response to our petition.”
The recycling centre was closed on January 31 to allow for the demolition of a building which contained asbestos but now the work is nearing completion.
During the closure residents were signposted to the Stourport HRC instead and this had a knock-on effect on the Minster Road facility.
Councillor David Little, of Stourport Town Council, who previously expressed fears the Kidderminster closure would have a detrimental impact in his town, said he was “delighted” with the news of the re-opening.
“It looks as though a little bit of common sense has prevailed.
“The additional usage of the Stourport facility was causing traffic problems and long queues for customers so I am very pleased the Kidderminster site has re-opened.”
Councillor Anthony Blagg, cabinet member for environment at Worcestershire County Council, said: "We encouraged residents to use the local alternative facility over the last six months and would like to thank all of our customers for their continued support with recycling and composting unwanted items of household waste."
Kidderminster HRC is one of a number of recycling centres operated by the county council.
Full details of each facility, including opening times, what materials can be recycled and when you may need a permit, can be found at letswasteless.com