MORE than 100 recycling banks will close across the county, saving Shropshire Council £270,000 a year.

But the move by the council’s cabinet was branded a “tax on rural life” by one opponent, while others said it will lead to an increase in fly-tipping.

The sites to close will be the “bring bank” sites which have bins for glass, cans, newspapers and textiles among others.

There are 120 of the banks across the county.

Councillor Lezley Picton, the new cabinet member for waste, said she was recommending the closures went ahead.

She said the move would save the council money, while the vast majority of people manage to have all their waste collected by the regular kerbside service.

But Councillor Roger Evans, leader of the Lib Dem group on the council said: “It is a tax on rural areas and rural life and people will have to drive up to 20 miles from home to get to a household recycling centre.

“Bring banks take in 2,500 tonnes of recycling each year.”

Councillor Picton said that while that much recycling may be taken, much of it is contaminated with non-recyclable substances and therefore cannot be counted.

Councillor Joyce Barrow, a former cabinet member for waste, also spoke at the meeting on Wednesday.

She said she had full support of the recommendation to close the banks.

She added: “I think most of the people who are against the closure would be businesses who deposit trade waste in them.

“I have inspected many of these sites and they are not nice, many attract vermin and what goes in them can’t be recycled anyway.

“It is known that pub landlords use them to dispose of bottles as well.”

The cabinet voted unanimously to close the banks.

Councillor Picton added: “Shropshire Council and Veolia currently provide bring banks at 120 sites across Shropshire.

“The council is proposing to remove the bring bank sites to generate a saving of £237,000.

“As part of the council’s package of measures to establish a balanced budget for 2019/20 savings need to be made within the overall waste and recycling service area.  

“This proposal supports this aim by making savings while minimising the impact on the overall service.

“There are established alternatives for householders in terms of kerbside recycling collections which offer environmental benefits over the bring bank system, and alternative charity and commercial bring bank services for textiles.”

She added: “I do not think it will cause a spike in fly-tipping and it will be monitored and action taken if it does.

“Most of the stuff fly-tipped is trade waste, concrete slabs, beds, that kind of thing, not what we would expect at the bring banks.

“My community got rid of them last year and it has worked well.”

Mark Barrow, the council’s director of waste, presented a report to the cabinet on the issue.

It said: “Main waste streams can be diverted to kerbside collection where quality control is higher, widespread availability of other banks and collections for textiles, eg charity bag collections.”

Mr Barrow added that the move would also increase the amount of parking spaces in the county.

He said 42 of the sites are based on car parks and the removal will see more spaces as a result.