USK Town Council will challenge a Monmouthshire County Council decision to close the town's recycling centre – one allegedly taken "without any notification or consultation".

Monmouthshire council's cabinet voted on December 20 to close the Usk Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) from March 31, 2020.

The Usk HWRC has the lowest recycling rate of any centre in Wales, at 47.92 per cent, a council document said.

And at the December 20 cabinet meeting, Monmouthshire council's leader Peter Fox said the authority was under pressure not to miss the Welsh Government recycling target of 64 per cent. Missing that target could incur a fine of up to £133,500.

But the decision has been met with anger by local residents, not least because there was no apparent consultation on the matter.

In a social media post on December 22, the town council announced it would fight the decision, saying: "We wish to reassure residents that we consider that course of action is unacceptable and we will do everything we can to overturn this decision."

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The following day, following a special meeting of town councillors, the town council posted: "It was agreed to challenge the decision by [Monmouthshire council] to close the recycling centre and to take the necessary steps to reverse this decision."

As the local authority, Monmouthshire council has the responsibility for waste collection and disposal.

But at the December 20 cabinet meeting, Cllr Fox himself expressed surprise that there hadn't been a consultation around the closure of Usk HWRC "to get a deeper understanding of how [the proposal] was seen".

Monmouth AM Nick Ramsay said local residents were "understandably very concerned" by the plans to close the HWRC.

“This news has come like a bolt out of the blue and has shocked us all," he said. "I understand there have been issues with a high percentage of recyclables being disposed of in black bags but am seeking clarification from the council on the full reasons for this decision.

“There doesn’t appear to have been any consultation with Usk Town Council in advance of this decision. I think it’s important that a dialogue now takes place to see if there is anyway that this closure can be avoided.”

Meanwhile, a local resident has started an online petition on asking Monmouthshire council to "stop the closure and invest in the future of Usk town".

"Recycling needs to be made easier for residents, not harder," the petition reads. "Closing the centre could lead to an increase in fly tipping and a decrease in recycling."

It has so far been signed by more than 700 people.