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'Appalling': Campaign group criticises Shropshire recycling bank closures

Bridgnorth | Politics | Published:

A litter-collecting group has branded Shropshire Council’s move to close 120 recycling sites as an “appalling decision”.

Waste left outside the bring banks in Oswestry

David Fenwick, of the Much Wenlock Voluntary Litter Picking Group, said he is worried the decision to close the ‘bring bank’ sites will lead to a spike in fly-tipping.

The council’s cabinet decided last week to close the sites – which are based in car parks across the county – saying it would save £270,000 a year.

But Mr Fenwick said: “It is an appalling decision which can only result in an increase in fly-tipping around our beautiful county.

“I am a member of the voluntary litter picking group in Much Wenlock, ably run by Julian Walker.

“We collect rubbish from around the town once a month and more recently from the roads and lanes leading into the town, so I and our increasing membership will be wondering where the extra money will be coming from to pay for the collection of dumped rubbish in Shropshire.

“There is every chance that this collection cost will far exceed the savings being made by these closures.

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“It is a basic civic responsibility of councils to collect rubbish in an efficient manner, and Shropshire Council should be strongly encouraged to do so.”

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Last week, Councillor Roger Evans, Lib Dem group leader on the council, said he was considering calling the decision in for scrutiny.

He said he felt it was a tax on rural areas and said many people would struggle to get to household recycling centres, which can be up to 20 miles away.

Councillor David Turner, Conservative member for Much Wenlock, who is also a member of the litter picking group, said “I have been involved in a community litter pick in Much Wenlock for the past three years.

“I am concerned that all of the good results we have achieved by clearing litter – frequently bottles and cans – and the example that we set, will be reversed by the loss of these well-used facilities.”

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But Councillor Lezley Picton, portfolio holder for waste said she believed the move made sense.

She said it would save the council money, that most rubbish was collected from homes at the kerbside and added that many of the bring bank sites featured contaminated waste that could not be recycled.

Councillor Picton added that fly-tipping would be monitored and action would be taken against anybody who took part in the activity.

Story by Local Democracy Reporter Andrew Morris

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