USK recycling centre will stay closed permanently, after senior councillors pushed ahead with the controversial decision despite opposition from residents in the town.

A campaign fighting to save the facility saw a protest held, an action group set up, urgent meetings and a petition signed by around 2,000 people in recent weeks.

But in a bid to save money and improve the county’s recycling rates, Monmouthshire council’s cabinet unanimously voted to close the centre at a meeting on Wednesday.

However in recognition of the support for the facility, the cabinet offered to support Usk Town Council with its “help and expertise”, if it considered setting up new recycling facilities elsewhere in the town.


The Usk centre has the lowest recycling rate of any in Wales and the council says its size and location limits the facilities available.

Cllr Jane Pratt, cabinet member for infrastructure and neighbourhood services, said the facility does not have the requirements of a “modern and efficient HWRC”.

“The site is at the rear of a very busy car park,” she said.

“The small footprint does not allow a wide range of recycling options and recycling rates at Usk are the worst in Wales.”

But Cllr Dimitri Batrouni, leader of the council’s Labour group, said Usk Town Council had put forward “a convincing case to show how they could reform the site”.

Cllr Phil Murphy, cabinet member for resources, said he was aware the closure would be ‘unpopular’, but he said the council is under “very significant financial pressure”.

“We have to put our resources into services that are efficient and if that means we have to get rid of services that are inefficient then that is the way we have to go,” he said.

Council leader, Peter Fox, said there was a responsibility “to do the right thing for our taxpayers across the county”.

He said the decision to close the centre was made “with a heavy heart”.

“The reality is the evidence just does not stack up for the retention of this,” he added.

Cllr Bob Greenland, deputy leader, said the closure of the site would also bring back at least 18 parking spaces.

He said Usk is the only town in the county with a HWRC in its centre, adding: “I’m afraid I can’t find a reason that would justify giving Usk this special treatment.

“Though having said that, I recognise how important this facility is for local residents.”

Closing the centre will save the council £40,000 this year and £30,000 in costs which would be required to upgrade the site, which has been closed due to coronavirus.