Sheffield supermarket permanently closes recycling site after ‘persistent fly tipping’
A Sheffield supermarket’s recycling site is closing down – with the blame placed on “persistent fly tipping.”
Waitrose on Ecclesall Road hosts a well used recycling facility for Veolia and is thought to be one of the few places where Tetra Pak plastics can be recycled in the city.
A formal removal notice has now been placed at the centre, saying it will close permanently from Sunday June 20, and asking for the recycling containers to be removed.
"To ensure that recyclables are disposed of compliantly and safely, Waitrose continuously monitors the way its recycling services for customers are delivered”, reads the notice.
"Due to persistent fly tipping this site has been identified as not achieving the required level of service to ensure its safe operation.”
Shoppers who use the site say closing it down is punishing those who use it properly because of a minority who do not. The news also comes after figures obtained by the Sheffield Telegraph showed the scale of fly tipping across Sheffield – with the equivalent of 33 incidents recorded every day by Sheffield Council.
One shopper said online: “I use this a lot, fly tipping from local cheap takeaways constantly, why not put cameras up and punish the culprits instead of punishing the masses, as usual!”
And another added: “This is not good news. For one thing, it's the only place in Sheffield where people can take Tetrapaks (I believe).”
Two Sheffield councillors have also called for the decision to be reversed and said Waitrose should have worked to address the fly tipping.
“The recycling point is heavily used by customers and local residents, the vast majority of whom use it tidily”, said Coun Peter Garbutt and Coun Maroof Raouf, who represent Nether Edge and Sharrow, in a letter.
“By hosting the recycling point, Waitrose has helped provide an important option for local people to recycle more. There has been some dumping and littering, but Waitrose could have worked to address this, which it has failed to do, despite many requests from councillors and residents.”
Earlier this year, plans for an “e-commerce” depot at Waitrose on Ecclesall Road also proved controversial, coming shortly after sister company John Lewis announced the proposed closure of its Sheffield store. Many said it was the “click and collect replacement” for the former Cole Brothers store.
Couns Garbutt and Raouf added: “The old Waitrose recycling site has been turned into apartments and now John Lewis wants to build an “e-commerce depot” over more of the Waitrose car park. “This looks like an exit strategy, where the John Lewis Partnership is looking for excuses, rather than helping to provide a public service. Many loyal customers will feel, yet again, let down by their lack of care for Sheffield and its residents. We ask them to reverse this decision and would be happy to work with them to find a solution.”
A spokesman for Waitrose said: "Hygiene and the safety of our customers is absolutely paramount to Waitrose and following a series of incidents of misuse and fly tipping we have unfortunately had to remove the recycling bins. We are very sorry for the disappointment and inconvenience this may cause."
Veolia has been approached for comment.