Last day to comment on bid to remove six recycling bring banks in Ludlow – and a hundred more across the county

Recycling is one of the big themes of our age as concerns grow about waste of resources, pollution and climate change. But cash-strapped Shropshire Council wants to remove more than 100 bring banks from car parks and other locations. The council wants to save £230,000 and complains about fly-tipping and use of the bring banks by businesses. Today is the last day to comment.

The council is scoring a home goal with its proposals. The government’s new Resources and Waste Strategy aims to boost recycling. Shropshire Council aims to go in the opposite direction. It doesn’t seem to have recycling as a priority any more.

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Shropshire Council budget: Cuts are targeted at the health of our county and planet

Shropshire Council has cut £48 million from its budget over the last three years under pressure of government cuts. It will need to cut, or in its words “save”, £18.5m next year. The council has now set out details of the proposed cuts and is asking for public comments.

Under the proposals, recycling will get more difficult and households will pay twice over for garden waste. This is bound to cut the proportion of waste that is recycled, a proportion that is already falling.

The council is also proposing cuts to the planning team, along with culture and leisure services.

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Could changing government recycling policy breathe new life into the pioneering Ludlow Biodigester?

A decade ago, Ludlow was one of the country’s champions of food waste recycling. Caddies were collected weekly from the doorstep of homes and local businesses. This was processed in the biodigester on Coder Road creating gas and compost. This was an experimental project but it was cutting edge. So much so, I travelled from Oxfordshire just to view the facility. It is now closed.

Now the government is saying that we must take food waste seriously. It says weekly food waste should be collected and biodigested. It doesn’t want councils to continue composting in open bins as we do in Shropshire.

This is an ideal opportunity to upgrade and reopen Ludlow’s pioneering biodigester.

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Going to the bottle bank this Christmas? It could be your last chance before they are closed

Shropshire Council wants to close all its recycling bring banks across the county, including the six in Ludlow. The council says that usage has fallen and that people can use kerbside recycling. Usage has fallen but only by 17% over five years. Each bring bank collects more than 22 tonnes of recyclables every year. That’s around 6% of household dry recyclables collected by Veolia.

The council complains about contamination of recyclables and fly-tipping at bring banks but says it has no information on how often this happens.

People use bring banks for a reason. Those that live in apartments often don’t have anywhere to store the recyclables. Other households don’t have enough space to store the aftermath of a jolly good party. Some people will be going on holiday and want to ensure everything is in the system first.

The real reason that Shropshire Council wants to scrap bring banks is to save £230,000 a year.

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Shropshire Council plans to cut back on recycling banks just as recycling rates in the county fall

Recycling rates in Shropshire have fallen slightly for the first time since the years during which cardboard collection was suspended. The latest government statistics come just as Shropshire Council launches a consultation to reduce the number of bring bank recycling sites in the county. And the news is well timed for the government’s long-awaited national waste strategy which will be launched this week.

The council is planning to close all bring banks to save around £230,000 a year.

Shropshire is still one of the best councils for recycling and bring banks are part of that success story. They are very well used in Ludlow. The council has yet to make a case for closing them.

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