Cumbria is the second largest county in England and is home to the beautiful Lake District. The county is predominantly rural with half the county designated National Park or Areas of Outstanding National Beauty. The county is made up of 6 districts but, for the purpose of local government, operates as a two-tier system of county and district authorities.
Cumbria County Council is the Waste Disposal Authority with responsibility for managing disposal of all of the municipal waste created in Cumbria. There are presently 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) situated throughout the county which provide facilities to enable householders to recycle a wide range of waste materials and also deposit any refuse additional to their kerbside collection. HWRCs are also used for disposing of and recycling larger bulky items as well as garden waste for composting.
In 2009, Cumbria County Council entered a 25-year Public Private Partnership contract that sees Shanks take over management and development of Cumbria’s HWRCs. Given the diversity of waste which can now be recycled, the pressure on HWRCs to cater for demand has never been greater. Space is at a premium throughout Cumbria and it is essential that HWRC sites are designed to encourage high recycling rates as well as provide safe and efficient access for site users.
To make sure that new HWRC sites are safe by design, Cumbria County Council initiated a HWRC design risk workshop, attended by representatives of Cumbria County Council, their appointed HWRC design consultants Capita Symonds, their former HWRC maintenance contractor Amey, and Shanks Health and Safety Department. The HWRC design risk register was created to document safety and operational aspects identified at the risk workshop, following which a design guide was completed, setting out a generic template for the design of new and upgraded HWRC facilities in Cumbria. This design guide is subject to continuous review following construction and operation experience gained from recent HWRC developments in Cumbria, such as the new facility at Brampton.
To assist those who may wish to design such a HWRC facility a generic layout similar to that of the Brampton site has been provided.
Mr Nigel Christian, Technical Manager of Cumbria County Council’s Planning and Sustainability Department, said “This has been a very useful exercise that has led to improvements in the design of our HWRCs, such as designing the layout with containers all on one side to minimise members of the public having to cross traffic routes. The process will be subject to regular review to ensure continuous improvement”.