SWEEPING budget cuts by Fife Council could see Cupar’s well-used recycling centre closed.
Fife councillors are due to discuss a number of cost-cutting measures at their budget meeting on February 10, including the closure of the Coal Road recycling facility.
People in Cupar would have to drive to the nearest centres at Ladybank or St Andrews instead – a move which would seem at odds with the local authority’s aims to increase recycling and cut pollution.
The rising cost of fuel is also likely to affect whether people would bother to recycle if they have to make a 12 or 18-mile round car journey to do it.
Roddy Mann, operations manager, said no decisions had been made, but one of the ideas is the mothball two of the council’s 11 recycling centres in Fife - the other being Cowdenbeath.
The potential closure would affect four members of staff in Cupar.
Mr Mann told the Fife Herald: “Our recycling record is one of the best in Scotland and we don’t want recycling levels to fall.
“If these centres were closed we would still have 330 recycling points and nine recycling centres across Fife, including centres in Ladybank and St Andrews, which I hope residents would continue to use.
“These closures are just a suggestion.
“It will be for elected members to decide whether this proposal is taken forward.”
He said Cupar had been identified due to its location, layout and size of the site. It also has the smallest tonnage of all Fife centres.
“The site has a restricted layout between the railway and the river and it can only accommodate four cars so queuing results on Coal Road at busier periods,” said Mr Mann.
“Service vehicles also have difficulty accessing the containers.”
Susan Horsman from the Sustainable Cupar group said she was surprised the council was looking at closing the Cupar centre, which she believes is “well used and very accessible”.
She said: “This would be a real shame; recycling is an important part of creating a sustainable community and the centre offers a number of facilities that recycling points don’t.
“Fife Council has done well at moving recycling forward in other ways, for example, by having a wider range of doorstep collections and involvement in waste reduction initiatives.
“I think travelling to Ladybank or St Andrews may well put people off recycling the larger items that they would normally take to the Cupar site.”