EVERLEIGH recycling centre will close its gates after pleas to keep the rural waste centre near Pewsey open were ignored by Wiltshire Council.

Despite 1,300 people speaking out in a consultation, of which 94 per cent wanted the centre to stay open, residents will now have to travel to Marlborough, Amesbury or Devizes to recycle.

Angry residents and local councillors said that ignoring the views of the public made a mockery of the consultation process.

Charmian Spickernell, from Pewsey, said: “Everleigh visitors recycle 67 per cent more than people at other centres. We donate many items to Cossors shop. What we throw away is good recycling. Don’t penalise us for being good recyclers.”

Myrna McBride, a Pewsey resident, said: “To have the audacity to invite people to make comments in the consultation when they had already made up in their minds to close Everleigh makes a mockery of the process, especially when the Government is telling people to recycle more.”

During the debate on the centre’s future, cabinet member for waste Bridget Wayman confirmed Everleigh is the least visited site in the county. She said: “Everleigh has the lowest tonnage recycled and the lowest visitor numbers. We have looked really carefully and this is a saving to try to make a balanced budget. For repair and drainage work it would cost £102,500. The running costs of the site are £100k per year.”

Pewsey councillor Jerry Kunkler, suggested collaboration with the MoD, and claimed 3,300 troops planned to return from Germany by 2020 could increase visitor numbers. Cllr Kunkler added: “If this was a referendum we would look very stupid to go against the consensus of the people. Yes, a lot of fly-tipping is commercial, so have we explored the option of having a mixed commercial and household waste and charge them to use the service?” No date for closure has been announced.