Jumping on the refuse wagon

With it being less than a month since Swindon Borough Council introduced weekly kerbside recycling, it’s far too early to draw conclusions as to its impact… unless you’re Ms Snelgrove that is. We can, as always, rely on Ms Snelgrove to jump in with a bit of cheap political point scoring.

Figures I have seen have Swindon Council’s recycling and composting rate at 32 per cent, and it is excellent that they are doing what they are doing. But when you look at Wiltshire County Council it is recycling 38 per cent of the waste it collects. So although it looks like we’re doing okay what we need to be doing is exceeding our targets. MPs need to keep the pressure on our councils so that they beat their targets quickly and we can all reduce our carbon footprints.

Recycling is about re-use of materials; reducing carbon footprint is about reducing energy consumption. Ms Snelgrove isn’t the first to assume the two are inextricably linked, but for her to restate it does highlight her ignorance of the issues.

Mr Bluh, leading the defence for the council, has, presumably, seen some more up-to-date figures than Ms Snelgrove has.

We’ve already achieved 38 per cent currently, and that will climb once the new service has settled down.

You may also recall Ms Snelgrove’s previous statement that she always puts the concerns of her electorate first. Compare and contrast.

Ms Snelgrove:

One of the big problems we have in this town is that the main recycling point we have is in the northern part of the borough. I think we need a new facility in the south of the borough. It could be a one-off capital project. Once up and running it would not cost too much to maintain and it would make a huge difference to the amount we recycle. We all know the council is receiving a fair amount of cash from building works – I cannot think of a better issue to put money into.

Mr Bluh:

All the changes we’ve made this year have cost the council an extra £2m to introduce, yet we’ve had no financial assistance from the Government to do it…. When we consulted residents about what they thought our priorities for waste should be, they placed a comprehensive kerbside recycling service for the whole borough, including plastic bottles, above a second waste site. We’ve now delivered that.

I suppose it should come as no surprise really that Ms Snelgrove is trying to spend more of our money and would no doubt be the first to complain if council tax had to rise to deliver her plans. That said, there couldn’t be a more apt monument to Ms Snelgrove than a centre for collecting and recycling rubbish. I trust she’ll be at the front of the queue when it opens, with copies of most of her press statements and parliamentary speaches.

The introduction of the new recycling service may have been incompetent, but in picking her latest target for petty political point scoring, Ms Snelgrove has totally missed the main concerns of her electorate.