14/12/2018 - Permalink

Views sought on plans to remove recycling bring bank sites

Related topics: Highways and environmental maintenance

Shropshire residents are being asked for their views about proposals to remove Shropshire Council’s recycling bring bank sites, as part of six-week consultation that runs until 25 January 2019.

To read and take part in the consultation, click here.

Shropshire Council and Veolia currently provide bring banks at 120 sites across Shropshire, to enable people to recycle household waste including cans, glass, paper, clothing and drinks cartons. They are typically located in pub, supermarket and village hall car parks.

The council is proposing to remove its bring bank sites to help reduce fly-tipping and littering, to encourage recycling, and to save money.

The proposals don’t affect banks provided by private organisations on private land.

Photograph taken at Oswald Road bring bank site in Oswestry in summer 2018

Rubbish piles up at Oswald Road bring bank site in Oswestry in summer 2018

 

The reasons for the proposed removal of the bring bank sites are as follows.

1) Financial savings

As a result of substantial Government funding reductions, Shropshire Council needs to significantly reduce its budget and make unprecedented changes to services.

It’s estimated that removing the banks would save the council around £230,000 a year, money that would then be put towards the provision of other vital services.

The savings would come from no longer needing to maintain and manage the sites, and provide a service to clean and empty the banks.

2) Inappropriate use of the bring bank sites

Inappropriate use of the banks is becoming increasingly common, and the sites are experiencing three main issues:

  • People placing the wrong materials in the banks.
  • People leaving general household waste alongside the banks.
  • Business using the sites to dump trade waste.

Putting the wrong material in a bank causes the waste in the bank to become contaminated, meaning that it can’t then be sent for recycling.

Waste left alongside the banks is also classed as fly-tipping, which is illegal and could result in prosecution. It also costs the council time and money to clear and dispose of.

The ongoing costs of cleaning and the removal of frequent fly-tipping at particular sites also costs money.

Bring bank sites are for household waste only. Any business should have its own commercial arrangements in place for removal of any waste or recycling.

3) Fall in use of – and need for – the sites

There has been a steady decline in the amount waste left at the sites since the introduction and development of kerbside recycling collections.

Bring banks were once the only way residents could recycle anything. However, a wide range of materials can now be recycled using the kerbside collection service meaning there is now much less need to use a bring bank.

In addition, around 20 different materials can be recycled at each of Shropshire five household recycling centres.

4) The regional/national situation

A number of other councils have already removed their recycling bring sites, including Telford and Wrekin Council.

5) Increasing recycling rates

As mentioned above, putting the wrong material in a bring bank causes the waste in the bank to become contaminated, meaning that it can’t then be sent for recycling. By removing the banks and encouraging people to recycle from the kerbside or at a household recycling centres, it is anticipated that the amount of household waste sent for recycling will rise.

Joyce Barrow, Cabinet member responsible for waste services, said:

“Over the next five years, with no action, Shropshire Council is facing a budget shortfall of around £59m so we’re having to look carefully at how we can save money that can be put into provision of our most vital services. Removing bring banks sites from across the county would save a significant sum, but saving money isn’t the only reason for this proposal. Thanks to our kerbside recycling service and recycling centres bring banks are no longer as important as they once were – and misuse of the sites is costing time and money, and reducing the amount of waste that can be recycled.

“We ask people to take a close look at our proposals and tell us what they think.”

All responses to the consultation will be carefully considered before the final proposals are presented to Shropshire Council’s Cabinet in early 2019.