A plan to cut the opening hours of the district’s tips will lead to a rise in fly-tipping, according to critics.
Bradford Council, which runs eight household waste-recycling centres across the district, proposes to reduce the opening times to save nearly £200,000 over two years.
Currently all its tips are open seven days a week, but the authority says visitor numbers are low in the early morning and during weekdays.
So the plan is to “maximise efficiency” by opening one hour less each day. Each site would also close for two days a week.
None of the full-day closures would happen on weekends and at least four sites would be open each day across the district.
The plan forms part of the Council’s budget proposal for the next two years, which have been out to public consultation.
The results of this consultation are now being processed and the Labour administration is expected to announce its finalised budget plan on February 18, ahead of a full Council budget meeting on February 20.
Marie Parkin, of Keighley, said she was “shocked” when she heard of the plan during a visit to her local tip.
She said: “My main concern is if the sites are running on reduced opening hours, will this increase the likelihood of fly-tipping? In my opinion, absolutely yes.”
The Council’s Conservative group also has concerns.
Their leader, Councillor Glen Miller, said people who went to the tip only to find it shut would be more likely to fly-tip. “They will sling it on the sides of roads. I see it all the time.”
He also said he was worried that two-day closing would become “three days, then four days”.
Councillor Howard Middleton, chief whip for the Liberal Democrats, said he accepted the tips’ hours needed looking at.
But he said any opening hours lost during the day should be reallocated, so they could open later in the evenings.
He said: “Sometimes when you go in the middle of the week it’s very empty when you go in. Some people often contact me in the evenings and say, ‘I want to take my grass cuttings to the tip and it’s shut’.”
Councillor Andrew Thornton, Labour’s executive member for waste, said Coun Miller’s comments were “entirely speculation”.
He said: “I don’t view it at all as the thin end of the wedge.”
And he stressed that they were considering all public feedback on the proposals and no final decision had yet been made.