FEARS have been raised that jobs could be lost in a shake-up of the county’s recycling facilities.
Veolia’s material recovery facility (MRF) in Quartremaine Road, Copnor and its sister facility in Alton could be shut down in favour of a larger plant to deal with Hampshire’s dry waste.
A number of sites are being looked at including some in the Portsmouth area, and we want to keep it as close to the city as possible.Vincent Venus, Portsmouth City Council’s waste management services manager
The proposals were discussed during a meeting of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Local Government Association where it was suggested the replacement facility be built in Southampton.
It had been feared that this would lead to the loss of 55 jobs at the city plant.
However, the city council has said it is pushing for a replacement facility in Portsmouth and that any jobs lost at the current MRF could transfer to the future facility.
Vincent Venus, the council’s waste management services manager, said: ‘A number of sites are being looked at including some in the Portsmouth area, and we want to keep it as close to the city as possible. Existing staff would be given the option of working at the new facility, wherever it is built.’
He added that a collection point would need to be in Portsmouth, should the centre be built in Southampton, which would sustain jobs in the city.
Hampshire’s dry materials, such as paper, card plastic and cans are all collected by councils during kerbside collections before being brought to MRFs. These materials are then manually and automatically separated through a lengthy process.
Opposition leader Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson attended the meeting and raised his concerns
He said: ‘I am concerned as it looks as if all the jobs and work is going to Southampton here and that Portsmouth will lose jobs in the process.
Veolia stressed that ‘no decisions’ have been made.
A spokeswoman said: ‘At this stage, no decisions have been made, let alone any sites identified.’