Wokingham Conservatives curb their commitment to recycling

Local Lib Dems are disappointed that the Conservatives at Wokingham Borough Council watered down the Lib Dem call for a commitment to food waste recycling in the borough within the next four years.

The Lib Dems made the proposal because of a long held desire to improve recycling – calling for the Conservatives to consider food waste recycling a year ago. Also local residents’ responses to recent Lib Dem waste surveys show that residents do want this service.

At last night’s Council meeting the Conservatives repeatedly stated that food waste recycling would not be cost effective and that the Councils current waste contract with Re3 and WRG would make this difficult to implement. However the Conservatives did agree to at least investigate providing a food waste collection service, although they did not commit to definitely introducing one.

Cllr Lindsay Ferris (Twyford Ward) explained “This issue must not be kicked into the long grass just because it’s difficult. In these tough economic times the cost of introducing it must be considered BUT if food waste recycling is not introduced the costs are likely to be even higher. The targets, penalties and costs for putting waste in landfill are set to ever increase. We cannot afford to get stuck in the way we currently do things – it is simply not sustainable. Wokingham Borough Council needs to be creative – Veolia are providing food waste collection for Windsor & Maidenhead and West Berks do it. Let’s get moving on this and come up with creative and cost effective solutions. ”

The Lib Dems don’t want rubbish to end up in landfill and for tax payers to bear the cost of this. Residents have made it clear they want the range of kerbside recycling increased. Lib Dems will continue to press for it to be made easier and cost effective for residents to recycle.

Notes:

1/ At the Council Meeting in September 2011 Cllr Dee Tomlin asked “As part of their new waste collection contract, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead will be introducing food waste collection. Are you considering introducing food waste collection in order to reduce the amount of waste Wokingham Borough sends to landfill?”

2/ At the council meeting 20th┬áSeptember 2012 Cllr Prue Bray proposed the motion “In order to reduce future landfill taxes, this council will work towards implementing the recycling of food waste within 4 years.”

3/ At the council meeting 20th┬áSeptember 2012 the Cllr Angus Ross proposed the amended motion “In order to reduce landfill taxes, this Council will investigate through the Re3 Board the costs of food waste recycling and the availability of a processing facility, acknowledging the additional significant cost to WBC of food waste collection. Also, to investigate the costs and benefits to residents of home food composting boxes”.

4/ Re3 is a partnership between Bracknell Forest, Reading and Wokingham Councils, the Waste Recycling Group – WRG – and the public.

Published by Woodley & Whitegates Liberal Democrats, 26 Farriers Close Woodley, Reading RG5 3DD.

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