21st Sep, 2020

Anger at impact of 'barmy' food waste collection plan on Redditch

NEW recycling requirements being pushed through by the Government have been branded as ‘barmy’ by a Redditch borough councillor.

Coun Greg Chance (Lab, Central) hit out after hearing the borough would have to introduce weekly food waste collections by 2023 in addition to a range of other measures likely to cost nearly £500,000 to run.

And, although members of the borough’s executive committee heard there would be government funding to help with this cost, there was a question mark over how long this support would last for.

In a report, councillors heard the new government policy was part of an attempt to halt the UK’s ‘throwaway culture’.

On the agenda was the appointment of a joint waste strategy officer to co-ordinate the new waste service for all of Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

The council was being asked to pay £8,000 for three years to help fund the position – a move that was unanimously backed.

However, Coun Chance said: “My comments are around the absolute barmy policies that this is built around, particularly about collecting food waste.

“In Redditch over a number of years we have had political consensus and a really good well organised waste service and now we have political interference and some of it I think is just playing politics.”

Councillors heard residents would be given 25 litre caddies for their food waste, to be collected weekly, even though on average families only leave 2.5kg to 4.5kg of food waste a week – much of which can be composted.

Other measures could see the return of free green waste collection – costing the authority £40,000 in lost income – and the introduction of a deposit return scheme for bottles.

All told, councillors heard that across the two counties the new waste measures would cost an estimated £8m and would require up to 80 additional vehicles and crews to carry it out.

Coun Bill Hartnett (Labour, Church Hill) asked where people were meant to store all their wheelie bins and caddies, saying many properties struggled to find room for two bins let alone four.

However, Coun Brandon Clayton said the changes were a key part of the government’s green agenda ‘to deliver the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on Earth’.

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