FEARS have been raised that if the county council cuts funding for recycling centres it could lead to more fly-tipping.
A council consultation is under way, asking people which parts of household waste and recycling centres are the most used and how they could be run more cost-efficiently.
Hampshire County Council, which is looking to save cash, has already received 5,500 responses in six weeks.
The idea of cutting funding did not sit well with shoppers in Fareham yesterday.
Jackie Collins, 50, from Gosport, said: ‘If you start charging people for getting rid of rubbish, they will just dump it on the streets.’
George Brown, 68, from Gosport, agreed.
He said: ‘We pay enough council tax as it is so I wouldn’t agree with charging for getting rid of rubbish. It would lead to fly-tipping.’
Andy Gonella, 49, said: ‘We all need to dispose of our waste easily and effectively on a daily basis. It is not a good idea to make cuts.
‘It might encourage fly-tipping, which could lead to vermin problems.
‘If they have to cut back on something, they should focus on the more aesthetic things.’
The council has 24 HWRCs across the county, including Segensworth, Gosport, Havant, Hayling Island, Waterlooville and Bishop’s Waltham, which cost £10m a year to run.
Due to cuts in funding from central government, the council needs to save £250m by 2015, and it must face the prospect of having to find a further £98m in cuts by 2018.
Council leader Roy Perry said: ‘It is a survey to see if there are economies to be made and if there are ways that we can provide them better, perhaps making them more efficient.’
He said he was pleased to see so many responses and that the council was being forced to look at every service due to cutbacks.
Executive member for environment Sean Woodward said: ‘Everybody agrees we need to make savings but nobody wants them on one particular service.
‘It is a responsibility of the council to make these very hard decisions.’
Cllr Woodward will consider the survey results once they have been analysed and is expected to make a decision in November.
His decision could see certain centres close, opening hours reduced or charges levied.
The survey is can be found online at hants.gov.uk/recycling or by calling 0845 603 5634.
It closes on August 22.