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Council to reduce number of small recycling sites

Published: 14/10/2019

FOLLOWING a successful shift in the way residents recycle, Copeland Council will reduce the number of small recycling sites it operates by the end of November.

The council has invested more than half-a-million-pounds in its kerbside recycling service over the past 18 months, which has resulted in collection rates more than doubling.

The significant investment and high level of take-up of the new service means that fewer recycling sites are now required and 15 small sites will be withdrawn.

Ten large recycling sites will continue to operate, spread throughout the borough to supplement the kerbside service but largely concentrated on areas that do not receive a kerbside collection.

Due to the reduction in use, it currently costs Copeland Council £40,000 per year to operate the soon-to-be-withdrawn sites, achieving only a £10,000 income.

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “There are a number of reasons for this decision. We’ve invested heavily in our kerbside recycling system to provide a first-class service, collecting five items from residents’ doorsteps every two weeks. The response to this has been overwhelming and our recycling rates have improved considerably.

“For those who receive our kerbside collection, which is more than 96 per cent of households, we are encouraging you to use it. Between your three boxes and a bag, there’s now more space for your recycling than in your household waste bin.

“For the small percentage of households that don’t receive a kerbside collection, the 10 remaining recycling sites provide an outlet for their recyclables. We are also investigating the possibility of expanding the kerbside collection service to cover more properties.

“We have received a number of complaints that recycling sites are unsightly, they sometimes attract anti-social behaviour, and can be  abused by businesses for their trade waste. From an operational point of view, they can be difficult to manage as use is unpredictable and material is often not put into the containers, and they can cause litter problems, particularly in windy weather.

“Coupled with the high cost of running the sites, in relation to the income they generate, it’s simply not viable for us to continue to offer a kerbside collection to more than 96 per cent of households, and still run the 25 recycling sites that we historically did.

“We appreciate that this may cause some inconvenience, and we’d encourage residents who may have particular difficulties to contact us so we can support them to continue recycling.”

There are a number of options available to the small number of residents who used the soon-to-be withdrawn sites.

  • Please use the kerbside service. Visit to check if you’re on a collection. If you are and require further boxes and bag, please contact us on 01946 598300 or A detailed leaflet explaining what can and cannot be recycled is available at or in person at our offices at Market Hall, Whitehaven, and St George’s Road, Millom.

  • Please remember to wash and squash your recycling

  • If you have extra recycling that cannot fit into your boxes and bag, please leave it out for collection. Provided it is secure and recyclables separated, waste crews will collect it.

  • Notices directing residents to alternative recycling sites will be placed on the soon-to-be-withdrawn sites over the next two weeks.


Recycling sites to be retained are:

Co-op (Cleator Moor)
Main Street car park (Distington)
Beck Green car park (Egremont)
Haverigg foreshore
Tesco, Lancashire Road (Millom)
Seascale foreshore
St Bees foreshore
Morrisons, Flatt Walks (Whitehaven)
Tesco, Bransty Row (Whitehaven)
Gosforth car park **

Recycling sites to be withdrawn are:

Kings Head, Main Street (Bootle)
Calderbridge Village Hall
Main Street car park (Cleator)
Ennerdale Scout Camp
Eskdale Green car park
Frizington Road car park
East Road (Lowca)
Moor Row Working Mens Club
The Screes (Nether Wasdale)
Nether Wasdale campsite
Churchstile Caravan Park (Netherwasdale)
Parton play area
Main Street car park (Pica)
Brown Cow (Waberthwaite)
Wasdale Head campsite

** The site at Gosforth car park will be retained for the time being, however it is likely that its location will alter. Copeland Council will make a further announcement about this site in the near future.