Nov 8 2012 by Doug Archibald, Galloway News
The “leaderless” council is on the point of an “embarrassing and expensive” re-cycling U-turn, according to opposition councillors.
Labour launched a broadside against the administration when it emerged bosses are urging a return to a “blue box” type collection system abandoned three years ago.
Planning and environment director Alistair Speedie admits in a report the recycling point move is not delivering.
And Labour point out the Scottish Government “consistently” warned the council that would happen when the switchover took place in 2009.
Now Mr Speedie wants recycling points abandoned. In a report to the environment committee next week he is seeking support for a new three-tier weekly refuse collection scheme to pick up food waste, “recyclates” which include metal, paper and plastic in “small boxes” from households, and unsorted waste.
The council is under increasing pressure to meet targets set by the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 and Mr Speedie admits: “Kerbside collections capture a higher tonnage of recyclates than recycling points.”
And he adds: “It is recommended that our council provides a managed waste collection service to all householders, council departments and commercial customers of weekly food waste collections and an alternate weekly service of source separate dry recyclates and unsorted waste.”
The changes are urged after Zero Waste Scotland was called in to analyse the council’s recycling performance in light of the need to meet mandatory requirements. And they all come at a massive cost.
New vehicles, containers and information management systems have a £3.845 million price tag.
Mr Speedie suggests most of that could come from Zero Waste Scotland leaving the council to pick up £799,000.
Labour finance spokesman Colin Smyth went on the attack after seeing the report. He said: “This is an embarrassing and expensive U-turn by the council.
“When the council removed the kerbside paper collection in 2009, Labour opposed this and warned that it was an ill-thought out and short-sighted decision and we have been proved right.
“Tory and SNP councillors arrogantly lined up to say that we didn’t need recycling from the kerbside because the council focused on re-use through the eco-deco plant, despite the Scottish government consistently telling them this did not meet recycling targets.
“Taxpayers’ money will now be spent re-introducing a scheme very similar to what was scrapped.
“The leader of the council should issue a public apology for the previous decisions of the council to cut recycling.”