RECYCLING sites across West Oxfordshire could permanently close after a string of fly-tipping offences in the area.

West Oxfordshire District Council’s (WODC) cabinet is set to meet later today and approval will be sought for the permanent removal of bring sites in a ‘structured and managed way’.

Bring site provision has been part of the waste service offered by WODC for over 15 years.

During 2019-20, the council collected 12,688 tonnes of kerbside recycling in comparison to approximately 851 tonnes from the recycling bring sites.

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Bring site recycling accounted for approximately 6.7 per cent of the authority’s total recycling performance.

There are 15 recycling bring sites in the district, three of which are on private caravan parks.

A council report states that the sites are frequently subject to littering, with non-recyclable items such as mattresses and large waste electricals being dumped.

The report adds that there is evidence tradespeople are using the sites, meaning there are some companies not paying for their recycling waste to be collected.

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By law, these users should arrange for a waste collection contractor to collect and properly dispose of their waste.

The report continues: “Bring sites have been a tried and trusted approach enabling residents to recycle their waste for many years, but in current times where the council now provides an effective kerbside collection service for a substantial number of items, the negatives in not being able to police the sites usage far outweigh the positives in the amount and quality of material received.

“The council is spending significant costs on clearing material being left outside the bins and this resource could be redeployed on other street cleansing activities.”

With an increase in online shopping during the first lockdown, there was a rise in residents using the sites as packaging was disposed of.

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However, with this saw a similar rise in fly-tipping incidents with crews called to clear the rubbish.

Bigger sites such as Chipping Norton are cleared daily, while smaller ones are cleared two to three times a week.

An alternative to closing the sites, is to retain just the larger ones, however the council report says this may lead to an increase in fly-tipping.

In addition to the closure of bring sites, the council will also be assessing whether to approve an increase in its bulky waste collection service.

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Currently the standard number of items is three, however this could be made four if the council’s cabinet approves.

The fee of £27.68 would remain the same for the 2021-22 financial year.

Both the district councils for South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White removed the majority of their recycling bring sites in the last five years but kept clothing banks.

Meanwhile, Cherwell District Council still has bring banks, but they are mainly for glass as the council doesn’t accept that material as part of its kerbside recycling collections.