MONMOUTHSHIRE council is drawing up plans which could see the closure of at least one waste and recycling centre and a permit scheme introduced.

The county council currently has four sites which are used for the disposal of bulky waste items - Five Lanes Caldicot, Llanfoist Abergavenny, Usk and Mitchel Troy Monmouth.

But the council is looking to reduce costs as its budget comes under increasing pressure.

A council report says the four sites provide "excellent coverage" for residents but that this comes with a "significant cost" to the council.

The council's existing contractor, Viridor, has indicated that the contract is "not financially sustainable" for them at the current price, according to a council report.

Revised costs for the management of the facilities for 2019 onwards indicate an increase from just over £1million to £1.5million.

As well as management costs, there has also been a rise in tonnages through the recycling centres over the last 18 months.

The council report says this is partly due to increased house building in the county but also historic cross border waste issues.

Cross border waste issues have increased due to reduced service provision outside of the county, the report says.

A survey found more than 15 per cent of site users gave out of county postcodes as their home addresses.

Issuing permits to residents in Monmouthshire could help alleviate the issue and bring savings of around £150,000 from reduced tonnages, according to the council report.

It says: "The costs of operating the HWRC provision is increasing year on year and is now at a point where budget pressure requires consideration of what level of service might be provided in the future.

"The proposals would allow us to reduce out of county waste traffic, keep sites open all year and reduce costs and/or close certain sites."

Closing the centre in Usk, and also the one in Mitchel Troy, is also being considered.

The authority is legally required to offer only one waste and recycling centre in the county.

Particular issues with the site in Usk mean it would be the most likely to close.

Health and safety concerns over the operation of the site have been raised and the centre requires investment as it does not currently meet 'modern' standards.

The centre at Mitchel Troy is busier than Usk and offers a wider range of recyclable materials but the more modern sites are said to be Five Lanes and Llanfoist.

The possibility of closing each of the four sites on certain days is also being considered.

Council documents say there will be concerns over a rise in fly-tipping but that neighbouring authorities have not reported increases when introducing similar changes.

The options will be decided on by the council's strong communities select committee on Thursday.