Liberal Democrats in Redcar & Cleveland are asking why the Labour council gives away the cardboard and plastic it collects whilst other councils manage to sell it.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Abbott asked a question about this in July’s council meeting. He was told that the Council gets no money for the plastic and cardboard collected from households in the borough.
It costs the Council £245,950 a year to collect these items. It is then handed over free to a firm in Hartlepool who process and sell it, with no income at all coming back to the Council.
However, the Council has today admitted that other authorities do manage to sell waste cardboard and plastic.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Abbott commented: “It is ridiculous to give cardboard and plastics away free if they can be processed and sold.
“Once again Labour is wasting taxpayers’ money.
“This year Labour gave local people the highest council tax rise in the land.
“That surely gives them an obligation to use resources in the most effective way possible.
“This is yet another slap in the face to hardworking taxpayers.
“Labour clearly finds it easier to just put up council tax rather than run services more efficiently.”
Christopher Massey Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs told Coastal View: “Whilst it is correct to state that Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council does not receive any income for cardboard and plastic recycling it is important to emphasise that the Council pays a zero gate fee for their disposal.
“If we did not offer this, collection of these items would inevitably end up in the household bin and significantly add to the cost of waste disposal. At current levels this would increase our disposal costs by approximately £85,000.”
It must be highlighted that no authorities in the Tees Valley area currently receive any income from cardboard and plastic recycling. We are continuing, as we always have, to pursue the possibility of raising a yield from our recycling of plastics and cardboard.
Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs