19 February 2021 by James Langley

Tewkesbury could remove recycling site after ‘misuse’

Tewkesbury borough council says the “misuse” of a recycling site in Bishop’s Cleeve, a village just north of Cheltenham, has led council officers to consider removing the service.

The council says the recycling and charity collection bins in a Tesco’s car park have been “plagued” by fly tippers and are being used incorrectly by some residents. The councils says furniture, broken tents and more have been dumped at the site, while bags of recycling have been left on the ground, often over-spilling.

Some of the waste left dumped at the site (picture: Tewkesbury borough council)

Ubico, the council’s contractor, is working to rectify the issue by emptying the recycling bins two to three times a week and sending a crew out every morning to clear the waste dumped at the side of the bins. This waste cannot be recycled as it has been open to the elements, the council says. The Salvation Army also empties the clothes bank it has at the site three times a week.

However, the council says these measures are proving inadequate “without the cooperation of the public”.

To combat the issues, Tewkesbury says it will trial a “reconfiguration” of the site.


Councillor Jim Mason, Tewkesbury borough council’s lead member for clean and green environment, said: “We want to offer our residents a local and convenient place to take excess recycling if blue bins at home become full. However, the recycling site at Tesco in Bishop’s Cleeve is increasingly being used to dump belongings that cannot be recycled as well as genuine recycling being left in bags on the floor instead of deposited in the bins.

“The recycling site at Tesco in Bishop’s Cleeve is increasingly being used to dump belongings that cannot be recycled”

Jim Mason, Tewkesbury borough council

“This creates an eyesore for shoppers and local residents. It ruins the quality of the recycling and has the potential to become a public health hazard if it’s not corrected.

“These are all reasons why the council can issue fixed penalty notices to anyone who disposes of waste in this way. I sincerely hope that, by trialling a new configuration of the bins, the situation improves, and we can continue offering this service to local people.”

Bishop’s Cleeve

The land at which the site is located is owned by Tesco, but Tewkesbury borough council has an agreement with the supermarket to use it to offer an extension of the recycling collections from residents’ homes. The Salvation Army also has a clothes bank at the site.

Ubico was formed by Cheltenham borough council’s waste team in 2012 in a joint partnership with Cotswold district council

Councillor Rob Bird, ward member for Cleeve West, said: “Dumping rubbish next to recycling bins creates huge problems for everyone: recyclers, collection crews, passers-by and especially local residents who cannot access their properties due to waste build-up.

“Previous efforts to resolve the problem were only partially successful; we hope that changing the set-up will encourage responsible use of this facility, in order to keep it going, so I urge all users to ensure that they place items for recycling in the designated bins only, to avoid further problems and potential fines.”

Representing a population of around 86,000, Tewkesbury borough council had a recycling rate of 52.6% in the 2018/19 financial year.

Local authority-owned Ubico began carrying out refuse and recycling collections in Tewkesbury in 2015 (see letsrecycle.com story).


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