North-east residents have reacted with shock to the revelation their recycling facilities could face closure.
Aberdeenshire Council has asked the public for their views on proposals that would scrap the Portsoy household waste facility.
Its new waste strategy also suggests closing the Hatton, Insch, Portsoy and Whitehills facilities.
Savings would be invested in enhancements to kerbside collection services and in the region’s larger recycling sites.
Locals were invited to give their opinions on the plan during this week’s meeting of the Portsoy and District Community Council.
Many were angry that the skips they fought to have installed may now be taken away, while some said they feared an increase in littering and fly-tipping would be the result.
Resident Violet Richmond said: “People are so shocked that they might close our skips. We’ve no other place to take our rubbish.
“Macduff is half-an-hour away and some people don’t have cars. The council also charges £15 to take three articles of rubbish away. Many people can’t afford these options.
“There’s going to be lots of fly tipping and litter left in the sea, just as there was before we got the skips.”
Joiner William Urquhart, 30, agreed and said: “We were told at the meeting that the centres have to run at 70% efficiency but that we are at just 55% and that it’s impossible for us to reach 70%.
“I find it difficult to believe this can’t be possible.
“People fought to have a skip in Portsoy. It is clean, with very little fly tipping, and has the highest recycling rate percentage of all of the centres the council is suggesting be closed.”
Other residents took to Facebook to express their views writing “it’s always busy”, “this will encourage fly tipping” and “definitely keep it open”.
Banff and district councillor Glen Reynolds attended the community council meeting to listen to concerns from residents.
He said: “As a councillor on the committee, I can’t prejudge this but I have an ear to listen to the objections and I hope the council do too.
“With that in mind, there’s nothing logical in the council wanting to increase recycling and simultaneously close recycling units.
“It’s important they get this right because, if they don’t, it may open the flood gates to potential fly tipping as has been experienced in Gardenstown, which had it’s unit closed, or the potential for waste being dumped in the sea.”
Aberdeenshire Council’s waste manager, Ros Baxter, is encouraging people to share their views on the package of changes in the consultation, which begins on Monday.
He said: “The proposals include reducing the amount of non-recyclable waste collected at kerbside, improving the network of recycling centres, collecting paper and card separately at kerbside, increasing the number of seasonal garden waste recycling points and providing better information on how to recycle.
“The proposals to improve the network of recycling centres include closing some smaller centres to enable us to do this at no extra cost to the taxpayer.”
The strategy will be put before the Banff and Buchan Area Committee on September 11.