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AS the furore continues over long queues of cars waiting to use Bowerhill Recycling Centre and the increasing anger of people being unable to use the facilities, now fly-tipping and bonfires are on the increase. Furthermore, concern has been raised about the safety of people using the recycling centre.
Melksham News has received letters and complaints about the situation from local residents for several weeks.
They have condemned Wiltshire Council’s decision to charge for garden waste collection, whilst also restricting the opening hours of Bowerhill Recycling Centre.
Bowerhill resident Jane Keogh summed up the mood, by saying, “I do hope the closure of recycling areas is only experimental because I can already tell the powers-that-be that it is an absolute disaster.”
She described a recent visit to the recycling centre as “bedlam, and worse it was dangerous.” She explained, “I saw cars lined up all around the place and harassed people trying to manhandle their rubbish on foot between the cars, some of whose drivers had become very irate:- the incomers because they couldn’t park and those who had finished, but wouldn’t get out.
“One little lady was tottering between moving cars with bales of cardboard and two men with overflowing trailers, one full of hardcore, nearly came to blows over a parking space.
“We are supposed to be recycling to save the planet, but a process that has never been too pleasant has been turned into an ordeal for the sake of a few pounds saved on staff jobs.
“Are we to go back to mattresses on grass verges and perfectly usable items going into landfill? Because that will be the result.”
Aksana Coxhead, from Forest Road said, “I would like to mention yet another unpleasant side effect of the council’s unpopular decision to charge for garden waste collection: the burning of garden and other waste in back gardens.
“I cannot recall how often I had to rush and close the windows this summer to prevent suffocation and watering eyes due to highly acrid smoke wafting in from the neighbour’s garden.
“Not just garden waste which could be turned into compost goes to waste here, but recycling changes are also wasting valuable resources. Numerous letters to this newspaper have shown that more and more people are put off using the recycling centre and throw electronic goods and other good stuff into the grey bin.”
Figures recorded before the collection charge and revised opening hours were introduced suggested that fly-tipping was already on the rise.
It was revealed that Wiltshire Council spent £278,181 on dealing with fly-tipping in 2014/15 – an increase of nearly 75% on the previous year’s bill.