RESIDENTS and businesses in Usk will be “reminded of their responsibilities” over the use of the town’s recycling centre amid concerns it is being used as a "dump".

Monmouthshire council has put on hold plans to close the Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) to allow for a public consultation to take place after residents slammed the council for bypassing them.

Usk Town Council opposed the closure, and now says it will issue advice to residents over the future use of the site.

Roger Galletley, a town councillor, told a Central Monmouthshire area committee meeting on Wednesday that the town council is planning to deliver leaflets across the town with advice over the use of the site in the coming weeks.

“Every resident in the town will be reminded of their responsibilities and that if they want the HWRC to remain they will have to pull their fingers out and do their job properly,” Cllr Galletley said.

“I can say that I know the residents will respond because if they think it is going to close they will do something about it.”

Last week, residents reacted furiously to the news the recycling centre might close.

One resident, Derek Howe, who owns an antiques store on Bridge Street, said: It’s absolute rubbish. We are in an era of real climate problems and to throw the towel in on a really useful service that has been used by residents for over 30 years is foolish."

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The HWRC has the lowest recycling rate of any centre in Wales, at 47.92 per cent, and a large amount of recyclable materials are also put in black bags for general waste at the site.

Analysis has shown that just 34 per cent of materials placed in black bags at the site are residual – with the rest of the waste made up of items that could be recycled.

Cllr Richard John said the amount of recyclables being dumped represented an ‘abuse’ of the site.

“It is not being used as a recycling centre, it is being used as a dump,” he said.

“We all have a responsibility to recycle and being busy is not an excuse.”

But Usk town councillor Alec Leathwood said the HWRC is mostly used well by residents, and instead blamed county council waste disposal costs for the poor recycling rate.

A public consultation over the future of the site will now be held, with a decision expected to be taken in the summer.

Cllr Jane Pratt, cabinet member for recycling and waste, said “a vast improvement” in recycling is needed in the county.

“We accept as a council that we should have had a more in-depth consultation with the local community so that will happen now,” Cllr Pratt added.