Gareth Wilson

Liberal Democrat Campaigner for Haddenham & Aldreth Learn more

Lib Dems’ Move to Kick-Start Recycling is Rejected

by Gareth Wilson on 30 October, 2008

A bid by East Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats to kick-start the district’s troubled organic recycling service has been scotched by the Conservatives.

Despite hundreds of complaints from residents that they are not receiving brown paper sacks to recycle organic waste. The bulk of material is still being sent to landfill. The Conservatives rejected a move to solve the problem.

But they have agreed to spend £30,000 plus providing a year’s supply of black rubbish bags and clear plastic bags for recycling plastic bottles to every home in the district.

The Lib Dems supported the move in the hope that it would ease problems facing the service and suggested that, at the same time, four brown sacks should be delivered to each home.

But the idea, put forward by councillors Ian Allen and Dr Bob Stevens at East Cambridgeshire District Council’s environment and transport committee meeting was rejected.

A day later Burwell residents’ rubbish was collected late or not at all and in Witchford carefully sorted recyclables were mixed into a standard refuse truck, claim the Liberal Democrats.

Now they have accused the Conservative-run council of “gifting £30,000” to waste contractor Veolia without addressing the problem of recyclable organic waste going to landfill.

And they claim the council has broken the promises made in its corporate plan “to minimise the amount of waste to landfill with the promotion of recycling and home composting” and “ensuring effective and efficient use of resources”.
Cllr Allen said: “By including four sacks for each home with the year’s supply of black bags, we could have relaunched the whole service.

“But instead Veolia is making a saving of £30,000 plus when we should have been enforcing our contract with the company. All we are doing is propping up a poor service.

“Why should we be put into a position where we are asked to further reward failure?”

East Cambridgeshire District Council recycles only 36 per cent of its waste compared to around 50 per cent for other councils in the county.

“They seem to be more interested in making the Veolia contract profitable than in giving residents the service they deserve,” said Cllr Gareth Wilson. “Why is Veolia being given the opportunity to make more money from the contract when it is in clear breach of the contract requirements?”

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