A RECYCLING site in Lechlade will close because of the number of people who have dumped items which should have been taken to a tip.

Cotswold District Council announced this week it will shut the facility at St John’s Priory from next week because it had had enough of what it viewed as fly-tipping.

A spokesman said incidents had happened with increasing regularity over the past 18 months prompting the authority to shut the gates on the site for good.

The site is situated on an off-road lay-by outside Lechlade and CDC’s waste contractor Ubico Ltd runs the site.

CDC spokesman Bob McNally said incidents in the past 18 months had left the authority needing to send its pest control team in to deal with rats which had taken up residence.

The most serious incident was in January when two skips’ worth of general waste and a 1,200 litre fuel oil container were dumped.

CDC cabinet member for the environment Cllr David Fowles said it was regrettable that the site would be closed because of the thoughtless actions of a small minority.

“We deeply regret this action but the reckless behaviour of a few fly-tippers has not only placed our cleansing budget under undue pressure but has also created problems with vermin,” he said.

“The semi-rural location of the site makes it extremely hard to crack down on this persistent abuse. “Although we are removing the facility, all of the items that are collected there can still be recycled by residents through fortnightly household kerbside collections so the impact should be minimal.”

CDC’s enforcement team will still patrol the site to watch for any continued fly-tipping.

If rubbish continues to be dumped at the site, Lechlade Town Council and Gloucestershire Police will be drafted in to track down offenders.

l Cllr Fowles said the Environmental Protection team was currently following up three lines of enquiry from recent fly-tipping which all involved suspects from outside of the county.

The last year saw 261 fly-tipping incident in the district, just over the half the number recorded in 2009/10 when there were 499 offences.