SEVERAL mini-recycling sites in the region closed yesterday as part of Wiltshire Council’s programme to save money.

Sites in Purton, Royal Wootton Bassett, Broad Town and Brinkworth shut their doors for the last time.

All 126 centres across the county closed in a move which the council has estimated will save £100,000 a year.

The council has said that the majority of recycling in the county is done during household collections. Last year, 68,000 tonnes of household waste was recycled, of which 36,000 tonnes came through the black box and blue bin collections.

However, it is predicted that this year only 3,000 tonnes will be recycled at the mini-sites. Thus the council has decided it is more economical to close them.

Coun Jacqui Lay (Con, Purton) said she did not believe Purton will be too badly affected by the change because it is close to a private household recycling centre run by Hill’s Waste.

She said Purton was lucky to have the recycling site nearby and that if there was something that could not be left on the pavement it could be taken there.

“I know for the several houses which are near the closed site they will probably be very grateful for the reduction in noise.”

Coun Toby Sturgis (Con, Brinkworth), cabinet member for waste, said: “The kerbside collection of recyclable waste has been extremely successful.

“We are delighted people are using this service and recycling more of their household waste than ever before.

“The amount we pay in landfill tax will increase to £80 a tonne later this year, so every pound we save by recycling more is an extra pound we can spend on vital services in Wiltshire.”

However, there is some opposition to the plan from people who say the sites are still used.

Liberal Democrat spokesman, Coun Jon Hubbard (Lib Dem, Melksham South) , said the closures could end up costing Wiltshire Council taxpayers more in landfill tax.

He said:“When they are closed the people who use them are more likely to put their waste into landfill collections and the council will have to pay landfill tax on it.”