Recycling plan 'scrapped by council'By Victoria Smith
April 30, 2012
Wokingham Lib Dems criticised the council last week for “abandoning” plans to improve and extend recycling in the borough.
A £2 million fund for a “recycling improvement plan” was put forward in the council’s medium term financial plan in 2011/12 under the capital vision over 10 years.
This has now been deleted in the most recent budget.
The Lib Dems say with an underpinning principle in the council’s new vision to improve recycling, it does not make sense to scrap plans to achieve this.
The Lib Dems are calling for recycling to be made easier and for residents to be encouraged to recycle more.
The current recycling scheme is limited in the items that can be collected, with items such as Tetra Paks not collected from homes.
The group says by abandoning plans for new initiatives the Tories will make it harder for the council to meet the government targets for reducing landfill. If these targets are not met the council will face financial penalties.
However, Councillor David Lee, leader of the council, said the money had been an estimated contingency fund to ensure the new waste and recycling scheme could be introduced smoothly, however it was not needed.
He said the council is investigating introducing additional sites where people can recycle Tetra Paks. At present there are five.
He said the 40 glass bottle recycling points are popular and work well.
Cllr Lee said he believes the new weekly waste collection and recycling scheme, where recycling has gone from fortnightly to weekly and green waste is charged at £60 annually for a wheelie bin, will work well at cutting the amount Wokingham sends to landfill.
He added: “Most authorities are on fortnightly bin collections, which is a lot easier than what we are doing, but I have just driven through Cemetery Junction in Reading and it is a mess. If that is what people think they want in Wokingham, they are mad.
“There have been problems with the new scheme, I accept that. I accept we could have done certain things better. I would also accept on the officers’ behalf they could have done things better and Veolia [waste contractor] could have done things better.”
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