Taxpayers could be hit by recycling changeBy Laura Herbert
September 11, 2012
Taxpayers could pay the price after a ruling forcing councils to send leaves collected from the roadsides in Wokingham to landfill.
The Environment Agency has decreed that leaves collected from the roads can no longer be recycled as compost as they may have been contaminated by exhaust fumes or oil or petrol dripping from cars.
As a result, the council will now have to send them to landfill, which could hit the borough’s recycling levels and lead to huge fines as councils which exceed Government levels are punished.
Councillor Angus Ross, executive member for environment, said: “We are very disappointed with that decision because the evidence we have heard doesn’t support that.
“It is not a critical factor in the short term but as our targets for sending waste to landfill reduce, it would become a factor if we don’t find some other means.”
A spokesman for Re3, the council’s recycling partnership with Reading Borough Council and Bracknell Forest Council, said: “The compost was tested and was found to be of good quality. However, the Environment Agency issued guidance which brought the practice of composting street sweepings to an end.”