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Frustration after cardboard recycling removed from Kingsclere's Fieldgate Centre

Frustrations have been raised after the paper and cardboard recycling facilities at the Fieldgate Centre in Kingsclere were removed by the borough council.

The frequently-used facilities were taken away on April 20, while 13 recycling facilities around the borough have been closed entirely.

Containers remain for clothes, shoes, small electrical appliances and bottles at the Fieldgate Centre.

The recycling centre at the Fieldgate Centre
The recycling centre at the Fieldgate Centre

Upon the Newbury Weekly News’ visit to the site on Monday last week, cardboard had been dumped between and on the ground next to the blue bottle banks, as well as on the ground where the facilities used to sit.

The NWN was contacted by resident David Nobes, who said: “They want you to recycle but then they take the bins away.”

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council said the move followed a review of all its recycling sites in 2021 in an effort to “reduce the impact of fly-tipping and vandalism at sites where this was a problem, and to reduce the number of banks for items collected at the kerbside”.

Where the banks used to sit
Where the banks used to sit

The council’s cabinet member for environment and climate action Hayley Eachus (Con, Kempshott and Buckskin) said: “While the council acknowledges that the site was a useful service for local residents, paper and cardboard can both be recycled at the kerbside and as such there is no reason for residents to drive to a recycling site to dispose of these items.

“Fewer journeys to these sites, both by residents and by the council’s contractors, will help us to tackle carbon emissions in the borough, in line with the council’s key priority to protect and enhance our environment.”

She added that the removals were advertised on the council’s website and social media platforms, and that there were no plans to return the containers to the site.

Kingsclere recycling centre. (56855550)
Kingsclere recycling centre. (56855550)

The cardboard banks at Overton Hill have also been removed.

Kingsclere parish councillor Ian Bowes said he didn’t understand the decision, and didn’t think it was right.

He said: “They’ve removed three containers which used to be regularly used – I don’t see the logic.

“It’s one of the few places Basingstoke and Deane have kept open as a recycling centre.

“If they have a recycling centre, why don’t they make sure it’s a decent one?”

In February 2020, the parish council was asked by the borough council for a list of recycling facilities it wanted at the centre.

This list was discussed and agreed at a meeting, with a request for glass, cardboard, tins, cans, water filters, batteries, printer cartridges and small charity bins for items like books and clothing.

This list was sent to the borough council, along with a request for better lighting, HD CCTV, anti-vandal paint and clear and updated signage to help deter fly-tipping.

However, neither request was acted upon.

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