Westhampnett Waste Transfer Site Closure following fire– FAQ’s Sheet for CDC Residents

Q. Why is Westhampnett HWRS shut to public, what is happening?
A. On Tuesday 2nd April a serious fire broke out inside the Transfer Station located at Westhampnett, the fire was fully extinguished on Tuesday 9th April. The site was handed back to Viridor on 10th April once West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service had closed the incident from an operations perspective, an investigation will now take place.

Q. Why is it taking so long to open Westhampnett HWRS?
A. Due to the nature of the incident there is a requirement to undertake a full inspection of the site before it can be reopened to the public to ensure its safe for both the site staff and members of the public as well as ensuring compliance with all legislation and permits to allow the site to open.

Q. What was the cause of the fire?
A. The cause of the fire has not been identified. Viridor, which operates the waste transfer station for West Sussex County Council, has said it suspects that a likely cause is lithium ion batteries. These batteries are the main cause of waste site fires and are commonly found in a variety of products, including mobile phones, toys, cameras, eCigarettes and laptop computers.

Q. How long will Westhampnett HWRS be shut?
A. Following the fire at Westhampnett Household Waste Recycling Site on 2nd April 2019, the Westhampnett HWRS will be closed until Thursday 18th April. Please note that from Thursday 18th April the Westhampnett HWRS will accept Green Waste only until further notice. All attempts will be made to offer further services as soon as safely possible.

Please see our website for further details and updates.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.

Q. What are the opening hours at Westhampnett HWRS?
A. Westhampnett will be open from 18th April, 7 days a week, 9am – 6pm for Green Waste only until further notice.

Q. Where are my alternative HWRSs?
A. Bognor Regis Household Waste Recycling Site, Shripney Road, Bognor Regis, PO22 9SX.
Littlehampton Household Waste Recycling Site, Mill Road, Littlehampton, BN17 7PH.
Please note these sites do NOT accept trailers or over-height vehicles (2.2m height restriction). Also, these sites do NOT accept plasterboard or asbestos
The alternate weekly (Thursday) service at the Witterings and Selsey is available and this service will accept trailers with the relevant permit

Q. Where can I take asbestos?
A. HWRSs that accept asbestos are Burgess Hill, Crawley and Worthing.
For further instructions for disposal please see our website

Q. Where can I take plasterboard?
A. HWRSs that accept plasterboard are Billingshurst, Burgess Hill, Crawley, Horsham, Shoreham and Worthing. For further information please see our website

Q. Why don’t you put in place a temporary site to take household waste for Chichester residents?
A. West Sussex County Council has a statutory obligation to provide disposal facilities to residents for their household waste. Alternative HWRSs are available for residents to use. All attempts will be made to offer full services as soon as safely possible.

Q. Will other HWRSs be open 7 days a week?
A. Bognor Regis and Littlehampton HWRS will be open 8:30am till 6pm Monday – Friday, 9am till 6pm on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays until further notice.

Q. Will opening hours be extended at alternative HWRSs?
A. No, summer hours came into operation from the 1st April offering extended hours at all HWRSs until 6pm.

Q. Where can I take my trailer whilst Westhampnett is closed?
A. Your nearest trailer and over-height facility is Worthing Household Waste Recycling Site, Hambridge Trading Estate, Willowbrook Road, Worthing. BN14 8NA. This site can also accept plasterboard and asbestos.

An alternative HWRS which accepts trailers is Billingshurst HWRS, Newbridge road, Billinghurst, RH14 9HZ. Please note that asbestos and over height vehicles (2.2m height restriction) CANNOT be accepted at this HWRS.

Normal restrictions apply: No commercial waste, all sites have a 3 tonne vehicle weight limit, vans, trailers and pick ups must have a permit. Construction and demolition waste limits still apply. Please visit for further information on the permit scheme.

Q. When searching on Google, it does not show Westhampnett as being closed – why is this?
A. Unfortunately we are unable to update google directly please refer to for up to date information.

Q. Why can’t I take my trailer to Bognor Regis or Littlehampton HWRSs?
A. When the permit scheme was introduced in October 2018 a decision was made by Cabinet members to ban trailers from both the Bognor Regis and Littlehampton sites. The decision was not taken lightly and followed a number of “near miss” reports. Subsequently, the West Sussex Health and Safety officer noted the dangers of trailer usage at these sites as shown below:

o The site inspection reviewed the use of trailers on site given the restricted area available to manoeuvre them without impacting on other site services and customers…. …customers tend to un-hitch the trailer and manually manoeuvre into a parking bay and then park in the adjacent bay, at busy times this can draw complaints from other site users… ….staff stated that not many customers that come to the site can safely manoeuvre a trailer in the restricted space available.

West Sussex does understand the inconvenience caused by this decision. However, this must be balanced with the health and safety implications, which cannot be ignored and so this restriction remains in place despite the Westhampnett site currently being closed. It is hoped this closure will only be temporary, although at this time we are unable to say when the site will offer the full service.

If you wish to use your trailer to dispose of your recycling and/or waste, you will need to visit Midhurst, Worthing or Billingshurst household waste and recycling sites.

Please see our website for further details and updates.

Q. I am a Charity, where do I go now?
A. Should you normally use Westhampnett Transfer Station to dispose of your charity waste, you will need to use either Crawley or Burgess Hill Transfer Station, same terms and conditions apply and ensure you take in a completed waste transfer note with each visit. Please see link for details:

Q. I have commercial waste, where do I go now?
A. Your nearest Viridor commercial waste facility is in Burgess Hill, Fairbridge Way, Burgess Hill, RH15 8AR. For alternatives please contact the Sustainable Business Partnership: 01273 964239

Q. Will Westhampnett HWRS and Transfer Station be rebuilt?
A. Westhampnett is covered by insurance and at this time it is not known if a full rebuild will be required. West Sussex County Council is working closely with its contractor Viridor to understand what works will be required but it is currently too early to make a full commitment.

Q. How will this impact on my kerbside collections?
A. Despite the disruption at Westhampnett, services offered by both Chichester District Council and Arun District Council have been unaffected. Again we would encourage residents to consider the green and bulky waste services offered by both districts.

Q. Will I get a refund on my council tax as I cannot use my nearest HWRS?
A. No. West Sussex County Council has a statutory obligation to provide disposal facilities to residents for their household waste. Alternative HWRSs are available for residents to use.

Q. Has the nearby lake been polluted as result of the fire?
A. Interceptors at Westhampnett HWRS were regularly monitored and emptied via tanker. Also the EA have sampled Westhampnett Leisure Lake and no contamination as a result of the fire was detected.

Q. My breathing has been affected by the smoke, what do I do?
A. The fire is now extinguished. Public Health advice was to stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed. However, if you have any concerns, call NHS 111.

Q. This is bound to lead people to fly-tipping.
A. There’s no evidence to show that West Sussex residents will resort to fly-tipping – which is a criminal offence and blights local areas – if they cannot use a recycling centre for whatever reason. People who are prepared to travel to a recycling centre are unlikely to even consider fly-tipping, let alone do it. We will work closely with the District Councils to ensure any incidents of fly-tipping are promptly reported, cleared and investigated fully.

Q. Can I use HWRSs in Hampshire?
A. We would encourage West Sussex residents to continue to use HWRSs in West Sussex.

Q. Why not re-open the old mobile service at Hambrook, Bosham and Petworth ?
A. A decision was taken in 2016 to remove the old mobile service in response to changes in legislation regarding the increased need to prioritise recycling services, and to safeguard our statutory requirements during a period of ongoing austerity measures being faced across the public sector.
Financially it would not be viable to re-open this service, however alternative HWRSs are available for residents to use. All attempts will be made to offer full services as soon as safely possible.

Q. Can I take my green waste to a composting site and it be charged to WSCC ?
A. No. Public access to composting sites is restricted due to health and safety reasons. You can take green waste to alternative HWRSs or consider the green kerbside collection service offered to residents by your local district council.
Westhampnett HWRS will be available from the 18th April for residents to recycle their Green Waste.

Q. What are you doing to minimise the horrible smell from the tip?
A. The fire was extinguished on 09/04/2019. All of the fire damaged household waste will be removed from the site by the end of the week, 12/04/2019.

Q. I have had a wasted trip to the tip as I wasn’t told it was closed/green waste only – how have you/ what are you doing to advertise it ?
A. Press releases and updates have been provided via social media, our websites and local press/radio stations.
Our website provides the most up to date information regarding HWRS opening hours.