A FORMER Shropshire councillor has slammed a decision to axe recycling banks.

Councillor Duncan Kerr, a member of the Green Party, said the idea “doesn’t help at all” after Shropshire Council announced plans to cut 120 recycling banks across the county in a bid to make “much-needed savings”.

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

In the Oswestry alone, there are banks at Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, plus Gobowen Rail Station, Morda Village Hall, Queen’s Head, Stans supermarket in St Martins, Trefonen, The Punch Bowl in West Felton, Criftins and Tesco in Ellesmere.

Cllr Kerr, who is a member of Oswestry Town Council, thinks it is a bad decision to remove what he believes is a vital part of the county’s infrastructure: “We’re quite appalled by this.

“It’s actually been before the town council and councillors expressed opposition.

“It doesn’t help recycling at all. They say there’s been problems with fly-tipping, I’m pretty sure people aren’t going to stop fly-tipping all of a sudden if there isn’t a bank available to them.

“There’s also many people who live in small housing or flats who struggle for storage space for their recycling and they want to do their bit, so they’ll pop down to the banks – so I think they’re a vital part of our infrastructure.”

The decision has been made in a bid to save £270,000, something which executive director of place, Mark Barrow, believes outweighs the negatives of the decision.

He said: “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.”

However Mr Barrow did agree with Cllr Kerr’s comments regarding fly-tipping.

Cllr Kerr added: “We need to do better with recycling as a county – there’s a chance of more landfill tax and fines coming in if we don’t do better on recycling.

“We do well at the minute, but we can do better – we want to recycle more plastics in particular for instance, and facilities like banks are vital for this.

“I think as a society we’ve got to get away from thinking of waste as a nuisance and start looking at it as a resource.

“There’s money in waste, there’s certainly money in bottles and cans, there’s money in some plastic waste these days as well.

“With some creative thinking we might be able to find a way to make these schemes work better.”

The council said 2,400 tonnes of waste is currently recycled from the banks.

The proposal will go before cabinet on Wednesday, March 20.