Tip opening hours and street cleaning to be reduced as Bristol Waste look to save £4m

Bristol Waste needs to plug a £4million gap and has announced a number of cuts to its services Credit: Bristol Waste

All three tips in Bristol – including the new Hartcliffe Way recycling centre – will close two days a week and the city’s street-cleaning rounds halved.

Bristol Waste needs to plug a £4 million gap and has announced a number of cuts to its services, including reducing the work of fly-tip and graffiti removal teams.

The annual business plan shows Bristol City Council, which owns the company, has told the firm it must “live within its means”, which will result in some services becoming less frequent.

It comes just days after councillors approved the local authority’s 2023/24 budget which includes higher charges for garden waste collections and new fees for DIY waste, and replacement black bins and recycling boxes.

Tip opening times are being cut under the new business plan Credit: Bristol City Council

The business plan reads: “The plan is extremely challenging and there are risks to achievement.”

It said changes agreed with the council included reducing the household reuse and recycling centres’ opening hours from seven to five days a week, although this would have “minimal impact on the city” as the tips would be available to use at peak times, which suggests weekends as well as some weekdays.

The plan went on to explain: “Significant changes to the street cleansing service will be required to ‘live within our means’.

“Remodelling frequency of street cleansing will lead to a reduction in the cleansing frequency of semi-urban, residential and industrial areas of the city by up to half.

“Graffiti and fly-tip removal resources will also be reduced.

“This change will have the biggest impact on our city's cleanliness and will be the first area for reinvestment when finances allow. 

“This has been a hard decision to make.”

Bristol Waste currently removes more than 6,000 pieces of graffiti and 8,500 fly-tips each year, as well as responding to 6,250 street-cleansing requests, but the cuts will shift the focus from proactively tackling the problems to “more reactive”.

The document said: “There will of course be implications for our teams and the residents of Bristol in bringing forward these changes.

Bosses have said the decisions to cut services have been hard to make Credit: Stephen Sumner

“A consequence will be that resources will be reduced across services in 2023/24 and whilst every effort will be made to minimise the impact, there will inevitably be adverse effects on performance levels.

“If the agreed timescales for these changes are not met, each month of delay will effectively add £200,000 to £225,000 onto our cost.”

The new Hartcliffe Way tip, which was opened last June by Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and Broadchurch actor Joe Sims, will reduce to five opening days a week along with Days Road and Avonmouth.

Bristol City Council’s cabinet is expected to sign-off the business plan on March 7.

Credit: Local Democracy Reporter Service/Alex Seabrook