AN ACTION group has been set up in Usk after an urgent meeting was called over the potential permanent closure of the town's recycling centre.

Hours after Monmouthshire County Council announced Mitchel Troy Usk Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) recycling centre is to reopen on Tuesday, September 15, it revealed the Usk site will remain closed until October - when a meeting will take place to determine the future of the site.

The county council is working to increase its recycling rate to avoid the threat of Welsh Government fines, with the HWRC having the lowest recycling rate of any centre in Wales, at 47.92 per cent.

Town councillors in Usk and residents met on Monday to discuss the news, and have made an action group, saying they will not rest until the future of the site is secured.

Cllr Roger Galletley said members of the group had been making placards to put around the town labelled 'Save Usk’s Recycling Facility'.

On Monday, in a statement shared with the town council, the Monmouthshire council said: "Cabinet will determine whether to reaffirm its decision to close the Usk recycling centre on a permanent basis at its meeting in October. Until that meeting, the recycling centre will remain closed.”

South Wales Argus:

Cllr Galletley. Picture: Usk Town Council

The closest alternative centre is Llanfoist – 11 miles away.


Cllr Galletley said: “Monmouthshire County Council had delayed a decision on the closure of the site because they accepted a full consultation with the town council and residents hadn’t taken place.

“It is my understanding that consultation has still not taken place, and the council is using coronavirus as an excuse to close this site without proper justification other than cost-cutting.

South Wales Argus:

Usk recycling centre. Picture: Craig Williams

“We have a large elderly population who will not be able to properly dispose of recyclable waste if the site closes.”

Resident Jan Keelan said: “From the start this whole thing has lacked openness from (the council), and we can’t help as residents feel very suspicious over how the pandemic has affected the site. It smacks of a lack of respect."

South Wales Argus:

Tony Kear

Former mayor Tony Kear added: “There is no doubt Usk tax payers are being short-changed. We have the second highest council tax in Monmouthshire, and residents are rightly now asking what services we get in return."

A council spokeswoman said: "A survey was conducted between March 10 and April 10, 2020. Usk Town Council promoted it and was put on the website, social media, including Twitter, and in the local press. Monmouthshire County Council received 950 responses from residents across the county. Its findings along with a report with recommendations are due for discussion at October cabinet.

"The size of the site in Usk does not allow the full range of recycling facilities that residents want and expect in a modern recycling centre. As such recycling performance at this site is the lowest in Wales. There are many health and safety concerns regarding Usk and its location and the current Covid restrictions have exacerbated these."