Review recommends closure of small recycling centres in Rugby

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A review of Rugby’s small recycling centres has recommended closing all sites by the end of September.

The recycling centres, called ‘bring’ sites, have reduced in popularity since the council introduced its three-bin recycling service four years ago.

In addition, the borough’s bring sites have become a magnet for fly-tipping, and also suffer from regular contamination - with general waste being put in recycling bins.

At a meeting of the council’s cabinet next week, a report recommends the closure of the small recycling centres by the end of September.

The review of the recycling centres revealed the amount of waste recycled at ‘bring’ sites had fallen dramatically since the introduction of the three-bin recycling service.

In 1998, 1,400 tonnes of ‘dry’ recycling, such as paper, glass, plastic, cartons, and cans, was collected from the bring sites - accounting for just over 97 per cent of the borough’s dry recycling materials.

But by last year the figure had dropped to 350 tonnes - accounting for just 3.5 per cent of the borough’s dry recycling materials.

The drop in popularity of the bring sites has seen the cost of collecting a tonne of recyclable materials rise to £171 - compared to £76 for a tonne of waste collected from the council’s blue recycling bins.

The review also highlighted the problems of fly-tipping and contamination at centres, with nearly 40 per cent of bring sites regularly requiring an extra refuse collection vehicle to clear dumped waste or contaminated bins.

The extra demand on refuse collection vehicles comes at a time when the council’s fleet faces longer journeys to dispose of waste, following Warwickshire County Council’s decision to switch the main disposal point to the Whitley incinerator in Coventry.

The council currently spends £15,000 a year clearing contaminated recycling bins, and nearly £5,500 a year clearing fly-tipping.

Cllr Dr Mark Williams, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for sustainable environment, said the review’s findings made a compelling case for the closure of the bring sites.

“The borough currently recycles more than 50 per cent of its waste, putting the council in the top quarter of councils across the country for recycling,” Cllr Williams said.

“Our award-winning three-bin recycling service has proved a real success,

and it’s a success we’re keen to build on.

“However, the cost of the bring sites, both in financial and environmental terms, can no longer be justified.

“Fly-tipping has also blighted the sites and continued contamination of recycling bins seriously compromises our recycling rates.

“It also leads to increased journeys for our fleet of refuse collection vehicles,” Cllr Williams added.

The council’s cabinet meets on Monday 19 August to discuss the report.

Residents who require additional recycling capacity can call (01788) 533332 or visit www.rugby.gov.uk/site/scripts/documents.php?categoryID=200280