TWENTY five waste management workers face the axe as part of a cut back in Cumbria’s recycling centre opening times.

A leaked consultation document obtained by The Westmorland Gazette reveals how Cumbria Waste Management – a company owned by Cumbria County Council (CCC) – plans to make redundancies and reduce opening hours at 14 authority sites.

Under the proposals, waste recycling opening at Canal Head, Kendal, would be cut from seven days to five days a week, with total opening hours reduced from 56 to 35.

The largest reduction in opening times will be borne by Ambleside recycling centre, which will see the number of operating days cut from seven to two – with opening hours slashed from 70 to 18 a week in summer and 14 in winter.

Ulverston’s opening will reduce from seven days to four with hours falling from 70 to 36 in summer and to 28 in winter, while opening at Grange-over-Sands will fall from three to two days and hours from 24 to 14.

In Eden, Kirkby Stephen recycling centre’s opening times will be cut from four days to two and its hours will go down down from 40 to 16 in summer and just 14 in winter.

The reduction in opening times follows CCC’s U-turn on its initial plan to close some recycling centres entirely.

Following a public outcry, the authority agreed to keep them open and instead reduce opening times across the county.

CCC said changes to the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) could be implemented early in 2013.

Fifteen of the workers being axed are currently on fixed-term contracts, which would be allowed to expire, while 10 positions would be lost through redundancy.

An authority spokesman said: “Staff at HWRCs have long been aware of the intention to scale back operations and opening hours following the initial cabinet decision in March — so there are no surprises that the consultation is now beginning.

“The decision to reduce hours in HWRCs followed a full public consultation on original proposals to close six of the county's least used HWRCs.

“The Cumbrian public strongly opposed closures, so the reduced hours option was deemed to be a preferable solution at a time when savings have to be made."