Acquiring the site
The outcome of conversations with East Sussex County Council (ESCC) to date have determined that this is the only way open to the community to have the site going forward. ESCC have decided to sell the site on the open market. However they are aware that Forest Row Parish Council will be making a bid to purchase the site at a below market rate on the basis of a Community Asset Transfer. In fact ESCC have made provision in the bid process for bids with high social value.
As a community-interest company Frow Resorce will lease the site from the parish council and operate it as a recycling centre
Costs to the Community
No - Frow Resource are self-financing
The community store will be free to use for all.
There will be a nominal charge for bringing waste for skips to the site and options as to whether to pay an annual membership for unlimited use or pay-as-you-go for occasional trips and up to two trips in one day. The aim is to charge something like £36 for an annual subscription and approx. £3 for a day ticket (with multiple visits in one day allowed) but concessions will also be available.
£3 is roughly what it would cost for a car to be driven to the ESCC Maresfield site.
Individuals from surrounding villages will also be welcome to use the facilities.
Charges will be reduced for Forest Row residents if/when it becomes finanacially viable
The new facilities will be completely independent of the parish council and county council unlike the old tip and will need to be self-sustaining in terms of running costs. The hardest period for any new venture is the start-up – usually the first 3 years. We need to make a charge to ensure we have enough income to keep going through start-up.
After this time all charges will be reviewed and if the facility can afford free access we would like to go that way but this has to be balanced against funding new projects for the reduction, recycling, recovering, up-cycling, re-using, repairing and re-gifting of unwanted materials.
The Parish Council increased the precept for Council Tax last year to cover potential costs of the projects it named in the independent consultation paper sent to all residents last year. This included acquisition of the Station Road site, extension of the village cemetary and repairs to the Community Centre. The combined increase for these projects to each household was less than £7 per year. No further changes will be made to the Council Tax for these projects.
The will also not be a reduction to the council tax if residents use the site in preference to the ESCC recycling sites. This is because from ESCC and Wealden's perspective they will still be providing kerb-side collections and the large waste sites at Maresfield and Crowborough so no reduction. But villagers will gain in other ways
- No need to drive to Maresfield for most waste
- Ability to find ‘that thing’ you need locally without having to buy new
- Ability to get rid of ‘that thing’ you don’t need locally knowing if won’t be condemned to incineration, as another use or home will be found for it
- Lots of opportunities to get involved as volunteers
- Lots of opportunity to have your say on how the facility evolves over time
- Opportunity for paid employment
- Opportunity to socialise and get involved in the community shop
- Opportunities to share your skills
- Opportunity to contribute towards doing the right thing for the planet
Operation of the New Site
Not exactly. We want to provide something better for the comuunity than an industrial waste collection facilty taking in to account the cost of disposing of unwanted materials (financial and environmental) but also retain what was most popular about the old site. The new site will collect the following categories of waste into skips initially
Wires and electrical cables
There will be a community shop not unlike a charity shop and a place where people can meet and find what they need or pledge what they don’t need. But there will also be other facilities to support the reduction, recycling, recovering, up-cycling, re-using, repairing and re-gifting of unwanted materials that have not yet reached their end of life and can be usable in some form.
From our surveys we know that there is a demand for green waste disposal. We won't be offering this initially but we will continue to investigate a feasible way to do it and add it if we can.
Some categories of waste we will be unable to take such as fridges, freezers and mattresses but East Sussex County Council will take these.
There are several reasons that emerged from our research
- There is no point in replicating what is already available from Wealden’s kerb-side collections
- The facility will be run as a not-for-profit venture but it will need to make enough income to sustain itself. Some classes of waste are just too expensive to find responsible disposal routes for, at least at the moment.
- We asked the village in our initial survey which categories of waste they had the most difficulty in disposing of since the closure of the household waste site on Station Road and we have selected these categories where we can which is about a 90% match
- We have identified partner organisations to work with who will support varies routes for managing different materials – in time the range of partners or how they can help will grow.
Bear in mind though that this is the starting position and the facilities will evolve over time to meet the needs of the community. For instance we are aware that green waste disposal is an issue. At present we have not yet found the right partners or technology to manage green waste on a relatively small site but that doesn’t mean it is ruled out for the future.
Our main partners will be Samco – a local, reputable, responsible waste management company who will operate the waste collection side of the site initially for 3 days a week. This is a service FRow Resource will pay for but we will know where the waste ends up. Samco are committed to helping the community identify the most cost effective materials to collect and find the most responsible and cost effective ways to recycle them not incinerate them. Samco also hold all the relevant waste licences and have appropriately trained staff and health and safety procedures. Samco are as passionate about recycling as FrowResource
Many of you will have met the Samco team before cleaning up the waste at village events on the green and operating the waste collection at our pop-up event at the old tip last year.
Other partners will include Freegle, Terracycle and local recycling initiatives so we will be establishing an entire network of partners who we help and who help us reduction, recycle, recover, up-cycling, re-use, repair and re-gift unwanted materials
We also hope to collaborate with the Repair Cafe and other village initiatives.
Frow Resource will help Forest Row become zero waste and be a leading example on the path towards a zero waste world. It aims to collaborate in the creation of a community where residents tread lightly with their waste footprint and promote the wellbeing of the planet and the social and economic strength of their community through their enterprising activities. Frow ReSource will work hand in hand with ESCC, radical thinkers in the waste industry, local groups such as the Repair Cafe, our community and our waste partners to be a leading example of the way communities can move towards a zero waste world.
The concept of regenerating waste resources underpins a business plan that will use visionary yet tried and tested progressive strategies to rethink our consumption and our relationship with items we no longer need. The aim is to lengthen the life cycle of waste by seeing it as a resource. Frow ReSource will learn from others already on this journey and will strive to become a leader that promotes its success and supports East Sussex County Council in its challenging aim to respond to central government objectives towards zero carbon.
The purpose of the Forest Row Re-source Centre is to educate, encourage and enable residents to make positive choices when managing materials they no longer need. Simply put Frow ReSource will collect limited number of specific types of waste and will promote entrepreneurial and educational activities to support the reduction, recycling, recovering, up-cycling, re-using, repairing and re-gifting of unwanted materials that have not yet reached their end of life and can be usable in some form. Additionally, the inclusion of a community shop will enliven community life and strengthen social cohesion at a time when mental health issues are escalating for all ages of the population.
Bear in mind that we can be much more agile than the large companies by making new partnerships as new opportunities arise. It will be a two way operation so if someone needs something they will be able to call us and see if we have it. Different resources will be distributed to those that need them. We will also make call outs for resources that are needed by our partners such as hard plastic, phones, spectacles, furniture, household goods etc which will go straight to our partners for a pre-determined use. The larger companies are constrainted by their targets and contracts and can't move as swiftly or take up these opportunities.
We prefer to see it as brokering resources rather than waste and ensuring that these resources do not end up in land fill or incineration but are used and reused as many times as possible.
The community interest company
If FRow Resource fails for whatever reason the Parish Council losses a tenant. But it still retains the site which will have been improved by all the works FRow Resource will carry out to make the site a modern recycling centre.
At this point the Parish Council can decide whether it wants to lease the site to an equivalent enterprise or sell it and recoup any money they have spent on the site and return any additional profits to ESCC.
If Frow Resource closes down as a community-interest company (CIC) it has registered with the Government that its remaining assets will be given over to another CIC in this case the community fridge CIC.
Naturally we believe so – we have spent a great deal of time on putting together a business plan for the first 3 years. This is based on research, visits to other similar facilities around the UK, and advice from experts in the area. Our advantage over how the ESCC ran the site is
- We can and do have a very diverse model for generating enough income to be sustainable. So we are not putting all our eggs in one basket. The diverse model includes selling some waste, income from the community shop, income from repairs, charging for entry at least in the first 3 years and fund raising.
- Recycling is a fast moving field with new technologies emerging all the time. As a small community-led group we can adapt and flex to incorporate new options, new technologies and new partners very quickly. ESCC were/had to be tied into one large contract for multiple sites with one large contractor for multiple years. They were not able to focus on the needs of a specific community or be agile enough to act on them.