redundancies have been announced at Sheffield’s household waste recycling centres - with almost a third of staff been their jobs are set to go.
Veolia, which oversees running of the five sites for Sheffield Council, and subcontractor SOVA, which is due to take over their management from January, have revealed at least 12 of 46 full-time posts are set to go as part of plans to cut opening hours.
The GMB says more than 20 staff could be affected because many workers are part-time.
The centres, at Beighton, Gleadless Valley, High Green, Longley and Deepcar, are currently open seven days but the proposals, still to be approved by councillors, involve closing the sites for two or three days a week.
The five sites make £100,000 a year from selling recyclables but the council says the figure comes nowhere near covering operating costs, and reducing opening hours could save £390,000 annually.
One worker’s angry wife said: “My husband works on a Sheffield recycling site and got a letter in his wage packet telling him he’s to be made redundant. The sites make a lot of money so why shut them and how are we going to recycle?”
GMB regional organiser Peter Davis said: “The jobs will go if the plans to reduce opening hours are approved. Our members are up in arms. Reducing opening hours will be counter-productive because it will increase fly tipping and mean more clean-up costs for the council.
“If the black bin collections are reduced to fortnightly as well, what will people do with their rubbish?”
He added: “The council has failed to look at other ideas. Up to 750,000 visits are made each year so a small charge of £1 could probably cover the entire cost of running the sites.”
Sheffield Council said a decision has not yet been made on whether to implement the reduced hours.
The changes are being considered with other money saving ideas including switching to fortnightly bin collections and axing free garden waste collections to save more than £4 million in total each year.
The authority is facing a £50 million funding cut next year.
A decision on whether the changes will be implemented was due to be made by the council’s cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday but it has been delayed.
The Government has promised to pay councils to retain weekly bin collections but Labour said the funding is only guaranteed for a year - while councils must commit to keeping the collections for five years in return.
n My husband’s lost his job: See Letters on page 12.