Calls for improvements at Boston tip as angry residents are turned away

Boston’s tip is 'not fit for purpose' and causing ‘tip rage’ amongst many users – according to some residents and local councillors.

Boston's Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HMRC), in Bittern Way.
Boston's Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HMRC), in Bittern Way.

Many are now calling for an ‘overhaul’ of the the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) to be made.

Problems residents claim to encounter when attempting to use the tip include being turned away with car loads of recycling materials, being advised the relevant skips are full, or the tip simply not being open when needed.

They are calling for the Lincolnshire County Council (LCC)-run site to increase its opening hours and staffing levels, and improve its general efficiency.

The entrance to Boston tip.

The purpose-built centre opened in 2018, relocating to Bittern Way from its former Slippery Gowt Lane site. LCC invested almost £1.75million in the facility, which includes huge skips with ‘state-of-the-art’ compressors. It is open every day except Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8am-4pm.

Boston Borough Council’s portfolio holder for councillor Deborah Evans has been pushing the need for improvements with LCC. She, along other local councillors, visited the site recently."There have been quite a few issues at the site for a while now,” she told the Standard.

"I think many people are getting tip rage when they visit the site now. It should be a relief for people to be able to take things they need to get rid of - but many people are being turned away. People are understandably getting angry – and we have to support the staff at the tip as this is not their fault.

"Boston has grown quite a bit in recent years but the tip hasn’t grown – and that is part of the problem.

"We need to be looking at ensuring things which can be recycled are not turned away.

"I think one of the issues is the fact it closes on a Wednesday and Thursday, but so do the other tips in Lincolnshire meaning those people who only have those days to visit the tip have nowhere else to go in Lincolnshire. They are all shut on those two days.

"To myself and the public, it makes sense to make it as easy as possible to get rid of your waste."

“I've had various meetings and been in touch with the county council about it. But I'm not happy with how slow it is to see any progress in addressing these issues.

“I think they need to rethink it.

"We've had meetings about this issue and all the borough councillors have been very supportive of what I'm trying to achieve.”

Coun Evans created the Upcycle Sunday initiative run once a month by Boston Borough Council to encourage residents to leave out large household items for others to help themselves to in a bid to ensure less items end up needing to go to the tip.

Steve Slater who founded the Wyberton Wombles litter-picking group, told us: "We are calling on the council to overhaul the site. The main issues are the site is not simply big enough to meet demand, it needs to open seven days a week during peak months when people are doing DIY and garden work, the routines in place to keep the site ticking over efficiently are not good enough, and there are simply not enough staff there. The current staff are doing their best, and often taking verbal abuse from people.

"It is not fit for purpose. It is now time we put pressure on the LCC to open tips in the county seven days a week. The waiting time to get into the tip is too long.”

Coun Daniel McNally, executive councillor for waste at LCC, said: “Our Household Waste Recycling Centres are incredibly popular with residents, and we’re pleased that they want to recycle as much as possible. Boston HWRC currently has an impressive 82% recycling rate of everything taken there.

“The closure of a recycling operator on Boston Industrial Estate has meant that material is having to be taken further afield so containers cannot be emptied as frequently. However we are working hard to find new disposal outlets closer to Boston to resolve this. We try our best to give notice when specific types of waste can’t be collected on some days, and would urge residents to check the county council’s social media before they travel for these notifications.

“In general our HWRCs run smoothly, though of course weekends and bank holidays will always be busy. If you can visit weekdays, you are less likely to have to queue and it will make peak times less busy for those who are unable to visit in the week. We are carrying out traffic surveys on all days to establish if there are quieter periods which we can then tell residents about.

“There’s no proven link between fly-tipping and recycling centre provision. Fly-tipping is a national problem. In areas of the country where recycling centres are open 7 days a week, they still have fly-tipping.

It is wrong to suggest that law-abiding residents who would usually go to their local recycling centre would instead fly-tip because it isn’t open on a Wednesday or Thursday. We invest £2.2m every year in running our household waste recycling centres but there simply isn’t the money to build more, bigger sites everywhere that are open 24/7; it’s not realistic.

“We also encourage residents to think about other ways minimising waste, such as donating items that are still useable, using recycling points in supermarkets and repairing items instead of buying new.”

For more information on taking waste to Boston Recycling Centre, visit LCC’s website.