Kerbside plastic recycling scheme rejected

A SUGGESTION to introduce plastic kerbside recycling in North Herts has been snubbed, despite full council previously giving its backing and promises that it would be looked into.

North Herts District Council’s (NHDC) Cabinet turned down a proposal to consider introducing the scheme in the area, which eight other councils in the county use.

Its reasons included the amount of money it would cost to implement, and environmental aspects.

But some councillors have been left “outraged”, with claims that they were told the matter would be referred to scrutiny committee..

“This is a slap in the face for all those residents who told us that [they have to] trundle their plastics to banks which are often overflowing so that the area is a disgraceful mess,” said Cllr David Billing, who proposed the motion initially.

“The report was buried and with very flimsy arguments, it recommended no further exploration of kerbside collection of plastics in the immediate future.

“I am shocked that the report doesn’t do what the council asked for and dismisses the feasibility of sharing a plastics collection service with other councils without any serious consideration.”

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NHDC said that the reason a shared service was not currently feasible was due to existing contractual arrangements.

“The report was clear that introducing kerbside collection part way through an existing waste contract would be a very expensive process,” said Cllr Peter Burt, NHDC portfolio holder for waste, recycling and environment.

“The estimate is that it would be at least �500,000, possibly more, a figure that is not an option at a time when we have to consider more carefully than ever the cost of everything we do.

“There are environmental issues too. The carbon footprint of kerbside collection would be higher than with the current arrangements.

“Meanwhile, we continue to be one of the highest performing waste collection authorities in the country and led on many changes where others have followed, significantly reducing costs while helping the environment.”