More than 2,000 residents have signed a petition urging the county council not to close four Surrey recycling centres and reduce opening hours of remaining tips.

The opposition Liberal Democrats group launched the petition in response to a consultation on the county’s 15 recycling centres being carried out by Surrey County Council as it tried to balance its budget.

Ending residents’ free daily allowance of non-household waste, closing the county’s recycling centres on two weekdays, and barring vans, trailers and pick-up trucks from smaller dumps are among other county council proposals to save money.

Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the environment, had claimed the cuts would result in more fly-tipping across Surrey – an assertion dismissed by the council’s Conservative cabinet.

From June: Surrey County Council’s proposed cuts to community recycling centres ‘would give green light to fly-tippers’, Liberal Democrat opposition councillor claims

From July: Scrapping Surrey recycling centres made last resort as Green party councillor’s motion passed for county council to explore alternatives before closing tips

The council argues cuts at its 15,000 community recycling centres (CRCs), at which 113,000 tonnes of waste are processed every year, are necessary. The county council announced the consultation in a press release on its website, and insisted that a “high-quality service” would be maintained as it tries to make more than £100million worth of savings to offset sustained Tory austerity.

From April: Epsom and Ewell Borough Council fear introduction of recycling charges counter-intuitive to Surrey-wide fly-tipping crackdown

From April: Residents launch petition urging Surrey County Council to scrap recycling charges amidst fly-tipping fears

The opposition Liberal Democrat group launched a petition in response to the consultation, urging the council to reconsider the proposals.

Cllr Cooksey said he was pleased that so many residents had signed the petition, and urged the council to reject the proposed changes.

He added: “Like us, many residents are concerned that fly-tipping will increase as a result of these proposals, which would then lead to extra costs in clearing dumped rubbish, as well as further damage to the environment.

“Furthermore residents will be forced to travel longer to sites further away, which is both inconvenient and increases vehicle pollution.”

Mike Goodman, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for environment and planning, dismissed suggestions that fly-tipping would increase, citing a reduction in fly-tipping across Surrey amounting to more than 1,000 tonnes over the past year.

He added: “We face very tough decisions and we very much regret having to make these proposals, but we have to save more than £100million this year alone, including £2million from community recycling centres, to deal with rising demand for things like children’s services, adult social care and school places.”

From December: Surrey County Council forced to dip into 'largest ever use of reserves' to address £15 million overspend

From March: Surrey County Council plans to cut millions of pounds from frontline services in face of Conservative austerity

Outlining the reasons behind the consultation, which runs until August 7, a council officer wrote: “Continued cuts to funding, rising, costs and increasing demans for key services means that the need for Surrey County Council (SCC) to find savings has reached unprecedented levels.

“We are determined to meet our responsibilities and will continue to support our residents as effectively as we can, but despite having achieved £450million worth of savings since 200, changes to services are still needed to deliver the required savings.”

For more information and to take part in the consultation, which runs unti August 7, visit

To sign the Liberal Democrats' petition, visit