Shropshire Council is to close two of the five household recycling centres (HRCs) in the unitary area. It’s not looking good for our local HRC on Stokewood Road, Craven Arms, which serves the smallest population of the five. However, the loss of the Craven Arms recycling and waste facility would be devastating for the area. Closure would reduce recycling rates, increase carbon emissions and lead to yet more fly-tipping.

With Shrewsbury Battlefield HRC already ruled out for closure and Oswestry HRC unlikely to be selected for various reasons, the choice is likely to be between Craven Arms, Bridgnorth and Whitchurch. Only one of the three will remain open if this insane plan goes ahead.

Fly-tipping in the Teme at the Millennium Green

Shropshire Council discussed £62 million in budget cuts at its meeting last Thursday. The cuts were voted through despite fierce opposition from opposition councillors. There was no time to discuss all the details at the meeting, including the closure of two household recycling centres (HRCs).

A study will now examine which are the best HRCs to close. Battlefield at Shrewsbury is apparently not in the frame, meaning it will be a choice of Whitchurch, Oswestry, Craven Arms or Bridgnorth. It is almost inconceivable that the council will close the HRC in Oswestry, the second largest town in the county. It is also a Tory heartland but is now being taken over by the Lib Dems and Greens. Conservative leaders will want to shore up support in seats they are in danger of losing in 2025. Make no mistake there will be political calculations made when the decision is made. The review is also likely to take account of the volumes of waste and recycling taken to the HRC.

The choice for closure is likely to be between Craven Arms, Bridgnorth and Whitchurch. Only one will be lucky to survive if this crazy plan goes ahead. The closure will only save £14,000 before the May 2025 elections and £300,000 a year after that if the new administration does not reverse the cuts.

Closure of Craven Arms HRC will mean that people in Ludlow will have to drive more than 20 miles to the Bridgnorth recycling centre instead of the 8 miles to Craven Arms. The Battlefield HRC is 33 miles from Ludlow town centre.

Shropshire Council has had a good reputation on recycling. Closure of two household recycling centres will destroy that reputation.

Many people won’t be able to get to a household recycling centre 20 miles away. Even more will not want to do so. That will lead to two consequences. Firstly, there will be more stuff that could be recycled in the black bin sent to incineration. Secondly, there will be more fly tipping.

[Image… sofa]

These moves are not to the disadvantage of Shropshire Council. The more waste that goes into the black bin the more profit it will get from the Battlefield Incinerator. The council is earning £2 million a year from its share of the incinerator profits. Whichever sites are closed are likely to be sold, though Shropshire Council is looking for a site for its pyrolysis plant. Any capital receipts are likely to go towards the council’s pet projects in Shrewsbury town centre and the NWRR.

Most of the fly-tipping will be on private land, which means that the landowner or tenant picks up the bill. Fly-tipping on private land is rarely reported. The Plymouth Estate in Bromfield has long been a victim of this crime. Whitcliffe is one of Ludlow’s green lungs and fly-tipping there will get worse if Craven Arms household recycling centre is closed. It will be trustees that pay, not Shropshire Council.

Too many hard pressed local farmers already have to pay for disposal of waste that they only became responsible for because people are breaking the law.

We intend to make the strongest possible protests over any closure to Craven Arms household recycling centre. In 2014, Shropshire Council closed the Ludlow household recycling centre. That led to more fly-tipping and more recyclables going into the black bin for incineration.

We were good at tackling the big environmental problems of our age in Shropshire. Now everything is being abandoned. No one in Shropshire Council seems to be thinking about the environment any more. It’s just a panic and never mind the consequences for Shropshire’s future.

We need a rethink of this policy before the council trashes our county’s green credentials forever.

24 thought on “Council Cuts: Two out of five household recycling centres are to close – Craven Arms threatened”
  1. Lunacy! And I question the rationale on the table which calculates population within a ten mile radius. Do I not count as a regular user who lives 12 miles away?

    1. It is arbitary. I had to chose something. But if the area increases people come within reach of an alternative HRC weakening the argument for keeping it.

    2. Yes. Absolute madness. Fly tipping will just get worse and worse if we are expected to drive such distances. Why not introduce a small charge at the tips, say £1 entrance fee, more for commercial?

  2. What a deplorable situation brought about largely by the Council’s financial incompetence and that of its paymasters in government. Is there any mileage in suggesting a pay per use scheme? At a reasonable figure that would be better (and greener) than having to drive to Bridgnorth.

  3. Closure of Craven Arms would be a disaster for us as we don’t even have a normal rubbish collection, the quarter mile track to our house is not possible for those enormous rubbish trucks and the road isn’t safe for a truck to stop and collect our stuff. There must be many remote households in the same position in our very rural area.

  4. Utter madness.
    The council may save a little, but everyone will be paying far more.

  5. Well we will be having bonfires again to dispose of our garden waist
    Really not good for the environment
    Totally ludicrous just cut the amount paid to consultants

  6. Is there an existing petition? Many of us in Wistanstow will sign to support saving the CA recycling Center..

  7. Why do we bother to pay council tax to these clowns?

    I really can’t see them saving much money by the time they’ve cleared up all the fly tipping and disposed of hundreds of tons of recyclable waste we’ll be cramming into our wheeley bins.

  8. It is a ludicrous situation. We will NOT be driving to Bridgnorth to recycle our rubbish. Therefore will have to source other ways to do this i.e. garden incineration leading to more pollution of the atmosphere. Surely it is irrelevant on the number of people in the area that may use the site, it’s the fact that they use it is important.
    Sending ‘black bags’ to be incinerated for profit goes against all the principles of being green. However, I will accept paying a nominal fee for collection of garden rubbish.

  9. Have the idiots who run Shropshire factored in the cost of the additional fly tipping their stupid action will cost?

  10. If Craven Arms has to close why doesn’t SC do a deal with HC so people in Shropshire can use Leominster instead? Otherwise there’s nowhere this end of the country, is there?

  11. Yes Andy ‘insane’ it is. None of those sites should be closed. Does Shropshire Council know that none of those three are inter changeable. All serve a different locale. Any reduction in service will lead to more fly tipping, more stuff in non recycling bags/ containers. I thought councils were monitored on their recyling rates. If this proposal goes ahead I cannot help but think it will impact on Shropshire Councils rate and I would have thought generate criticism of them.

  12. Utterly ridiculous situation borne out of Council financial incompetence and Govt. under investment. Less spent on propping up Council buildings and Councillors Jobs in Shrewsbury and more spent on things that really matter to the council tax paying public fgs. Incompetent , unfair and environmentally catastrophic. How can this be justified when such a negligible saving is the result

  13. There should be an award for the worst council in the country, I know the odds on winner.

  14. This highlights even more hypocrisy on the part of the Shropshire Council decision makers. The Council is clearly not interested in maintaining and maximising a recycling policy. It also questions whether its published Net Zero Carbon Policy is just a “box ticking” exercise to satisfy central government! The catchment area for the Craven Arms Recycling Centre is enormous and, as other commentators have highlighted, there is no incentive to make a long round trip, CAUSING MORE POLLUTION. Clun to Bridgnorth and back 60 miles. Shrewsbury 70 miles. So, if Craven Arms closes, where are the bin lorries coming from and returning to in order to maintain the current collection timetable within its serviced area? Is there another agenda to cut back on bin emptying? It is no exaggeration that fly-tipping will increase. So, all those old paint tins, the broken saucepan, defunct batteries and your ex’s sweater, chuck it all in the black bin!

    1. “So, all those old paint tins, the broken saucepan, defunct batteries and your ex’s sweater, chuck it all in the black bin.” Hang on. You forgot the tetra-packs, the electronics, the white goods, fthe wood, the rubble, the non-ferrous metal, the light bulbs and the hard plastic that can’t go in the kerbside wheely bin.

  15. Craven Arms recycling would be a great loss, we need them all. Recycling has got to be of utmost importance and should be top of everyone’s agenda.

  16. I would like to see the financial details behind the running of these sites. Veolia is only in there for profit (and there’s nothing inherently wrong in that) but they are skilled business operators and it would not surprise me to be told that Shropshire Council is paying through the nose for the service it receives. How does the cost to the council compare with what other councils are paying waste companies elsewhere in the country to run similar sized sites? Has benchmarking across the country been carried out?

  17. This situation of intended closures by SC has obviously not been thought through and just confirms the ineptness in their decision making.
    I understand from a person that worked for Veolia said that they a profit last year of over £20 million. This came from their operation in the UK. Surely Veolia will be disappointed as this will reduce their profit margin.

  18. If Craven Arms is closed there will be flytipping all over the beautiful Shropshire hills and the surrounding area. It will be a lot more expensive to clear up the messes and put off the visitors who increase the local income !.The increased flytipping expense needs to be factored in !Furthermore ,Craven Arms residents are not the only people who use the C.A.Recycling Centre I have friends in Ludlow who use it. Bridgnorth is very close to Telford whereas we are20 miles from Bridgnorth .

  19. Here, here, Pippa. The Council must prioritise green matters when cutting costs. Forget the ring road, no one wants it, it’s a waste of money and will decimate further countryside. Concentrate on local facilities that encourage communities to protect our precious environment. If any of these tips go, the rogues that fly tip will only be empowered. Just what sort of message will Shropshire council be sending to communities?

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