The re-opening of the household waste recycling centre has been delayed until late January.
The station was scheduled to re-open by the end of December or very early January and leaves residents who have been storing up waste to take there, in addition to extra waste likely to have been generated over Christmas, with nowhere close at hand to go, says a Calder Valley councillor.
The tip, at Halifax Road, Eastwood, half way between Todmorden and Hebden Bridge, is the normal stop-off point for many upper Calder Valley people and Calder ward Liberal Democrat councillor Janet Battye has slammed the delay.
Coun Battye said she was disappointed to get an e-mail from a Calderdale officer just before Christmas saying it was unlikely the centre would open before mid or late January.
It closed in September for the re-ordering work to take place.
Just a few weeks ago she had been told the work was well on schedule and she had been watching it develop as she drove past it every day.
At the outset of work, council officers had reassured councillors the scheme would be finished in time for the centre to re-open, allowing people to take Christmas recyclable waste there.
“You may recall that I was dismayed at the replacement arrangements that they made - and I feel even stronger now that they should offer us better arrangements over the next few weeks. Like many local people, I imagine, I’ve been collecting up my paper awaiting its re-opening and I’m at a loss as to what to do with it.
“I was really hoping they would have the recycling centre open just after Christmas but the email says it will be the middle of January at the earliest. No explanation has been given.
“It’s not a good Christmas or new year present is it? Councils should pride themselves on getting things done on budget and on time and it doesn’t look as though it’s happened in this case,” she said.
Reader David Payne has also raised the issue after learning the first post-Christmas collection of waste in his area of Todmorden was not due until January 3.
He asked why temporary arrangements for people to take surplus waste over this period had not been made, with a number of empty sites around the town that could have accommodated such an arrangement.
“I think we are also due an explanation as to why so little activity took place on the site when it first closed,” he said.
Calderdale Council’s Director of Economy and Environment, Ian Gray, confirmed the reopening of Eastwood Household Waste Recycling Centre has been delayed slightly until late January 2014.
“We’ve been working really hard to create a much improved recycling facility for local people, and despite our best efforts it took longer than expected to demolish the waste shed to create space for more skips. We wanted to make sure it was done carefully and thoroughly.
“In early January we will be putting the finishing touches to the fencing, pedestrian walkway and signage, before the skips can be moved back onto the site. The reopening date will be confirmed in January, following detailed site inspections.
“We apologise for any inconvenience and thank residents for their patience throughout the closure period. We are confident that the wait will be worth it – local people will have a brilliant recycling centre with a new exit, a one-way system to reduce queues, more space for vehicles and a wide of recycling opportunities.
“Throughout the refurbishment, and until the centre reopens, Todmorden and Hebden Bridge residents can have up to two extra bags of rubbish taken away on their collection days. Additionally, as most of the rubbish gathered over Christmas is recyclable, we encourage people to make full use of the weekly recycling collections for their glass bottles and jars, cans, plastic bottles, textiles, paper and food waste.
“Waste and recycling collections are continuing throughout the Christmas and New Year period, to a slightly altered timetable – visit www.calderdale.gov.uk or follow @recycle_waste on Twitter for more information,” he said.