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Row breaks out over recycling in Redcar and Cleveland
AN east Cleveland councillor has hit out at changes to recycling which he claims will cost the local authority money.
Independent councillor Steve Kay has branded Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s decision to mix dry paper with other recyclables as a "do as we say, not as we do" policy.
However, the local authority has defended its stance, maintaining its recycling scheme is working.
Coun Kay said: “After all the ballyhoo about the introduction of the blue bin recycling system in Redcar & Cleveland, I am horrified that the council is allowing the refuse collectors to throw in clean dry paper with other recyclable waste.
“Not only does this practice contaminate the paper, making it less valuable but it brings the whole system into disrepute.
"People will either think there is no reason to recycle at all, or start using the interior ‘caddies’, intended for the paper, as convenient containers for illegitimate purposes. I have already been told that they make handy tool boxes.
“How dare the council lecture and threaten residents about the consequences of over-filling their bins and putting out side-waste when it is disobeying its own recycling ‘rules’ so blatantly?
“I have supported the introduction of the blue bin system because it should increase recycling, save money and reduce litter. But the benefits will soon disappear if the public becomes disillusioned by this ‘do as we say, not as we do’ council.
“If the initial success of the new system is to be sustained, under absolutely no circumstances should the council contaminate sorted and separated, clean, dry paper by mixing it up with other recyclables.”
Defending the council’s success, Christopher Massey, cabinet member for environment and rural affairs, said: “Thanks to our residents the blue bin scheme has been an overwhelming success.
"Furthermore, the sale of the recyclables we collect is protecting frontline services.
"Owing to this scheme we are already well on our way to surpassing the Government's 2020 target of recycling over 50 per cent of household waste.
"Occasionally we do have vehicle breakdowns meaning, as a last resort, we are forced to mix pre-sorted recyclables.
"But residents tell us the alternatives, leaving bins either part-emptied or un-emptied, are unacceptable, and regardless of the collection method everything is still recycled.
"We are currently updating our fleet so there should be fewer breakdowns in future.”
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