Labour's waste strategy is a mess say Liberal Democrats

January 31, 2017 9:17 AM

WasteOn street recycling bins in Newcastle have been taped over to prevent them being used at a time when the Labour run Council is claiming they want Newcastle to be a leader in waste management. Recycling points at locations including Chillingham Road in Heaton and Newton Road in High Heaton have been recently taken out of action by the council, and Opposition Liberal Democrats are concerned that all the citywide recycling points are now being taken out of commission.

At last week's Policy Cabinet meeting the leader of Council Nick Forbes stated that that it would be a radical approach for Newcastle to be the best City for dealing with waste in the UK or even Europe, but opposition Liberal Democrat Councillors are angry that the Labour Councillors have largely ignored this issue over the last 6 years and have squandered the massive progress made by the previous Liberal Democrat administration between 2004 & 2011.
Under Lib Dem control the council agreed a zero waste strategy in 2007, which recognised the importance of waste reduction, re-use, and recycling, and introduced the on-street recycling points as well as blue (cardboard, plastic bottles, cans, and glass) and brown (garden waste) domestic recycling bins. The Lib Dems also instituted an annual Environmenal Awareness Programme working with partners such as the Groundwork Trust, Universities, local businesses, schools and residents groups. This included events such as a Zero Waste Challenge & events to celebrate Recycle Now week & European waste Reduction week. The council also entered into waste management arrangements with SITA (now Suez) to export to Sweden over 40,000 tonnes of Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) from residual waste to be incinerated in combined heat and power plants in the Stockholm region produce
Cllr Wendy Taylor, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Newcastle East and the council's lead member for sustainability under the previous Lib Dem administration said:
"As a result of our leadership there was a 12% reduction in amount of household waste between 2005/6 & 2009/10, household waste recycling and composting reached 47% for the first quarter of 2009/10, and Newcastle gained theForum for the Future's Most Sustainable City title 2 years running.
"Since 2011 when Labour took control waste management has been at the bottom of the agenda and recycling has fallen from 43% to just 34% over the last few years.
"Now we see on street recycling being abandoned, on street waste bins being removed across the City, bins being removed from our parks, reduced street cleaning & a massive increase in litter in local neighbourhoods. We are also concerned that one of the city's three amenity sites (tips) at Brunswick is set to face closure in the near future.
"We won't be able to persuade residents to change their behaviour and reduce waste unless the Council changes its behaviour and takes waste management and the zero waste strategy seriously. By taking these on street recycling points out of use, the Labour run council is signalling it doesn't think recycling is important, and worse, it is leading to more litter on our streets as bottles and cans are simply dumped."