Falkirk council recycling figures slump

John Constable

“The Tory / Labour Coalition Administration within Falkirk Council have taken their eye of the ball and as a result recycling figures are falling” claim the SNP in Falkirk Council.

Government figures for recycling show that in the first quarter of 2007/08 Falkirk Council recycled 39.2% falling to 37.6% in the second quarter and to a worrying 32.7% in the third quarter.(Fourth quarter figures have not yet been released)

The drop from 39.2% to 32.7% in a six month period since the Labour / Tory Coalition came to power is worrying SNP leaders who originally took Falkirk’s recycling rate from a low of 6% in 2001 to the 39% in April / May of last year. The Nationalists fear that not only has momentum stalled but the dramatic drop in recycling rates will have a significant negative impact on public opinion.

Said SNP Environmental Spokesperson, Cllr John Constable,

“The drop in recycling rates are worrying but, sadly, not surprising. Both Labour and the Tories while in opposition sought to pretend to the general public that there were simple solutions to waste management and that the magic wands could be issued with wheel-bins.

The message they sent out was one that waste doesn’t matter and they are now paying a heavy price for their anti environmental messages.”

With Landfill Tax at an all time high of £17 per tonne and set to rise ahead of inflation for the foreseeable future the SNP fear that other council services will take a hit to pay for the increased tax to the UK Treasury if the amount of waste sent to landfill increases, as has been the case recently.

Said Councillor Constable,

“If the cost of disposing of waste increases then another service, perhaps Education or Social Services losses out, that is self evident.

Through the neglect and incompetence of the current Labour / Tory coalition we are in effect sending Council Tax Payers money to landfill by the barrow load every time we drop a percentage point below what the previous SNP / Independent Administration achieved in recycling.

Perhaps the significance of this hasn’t sunk in yet to the current council leaders but given other services are already being cut back I sure that is only a matter of time.”

The SNP have also criticised the current convenor of the council’s scrutiny committee, Cllr Adrian Mahoney for not acting sooner to stem the fall.”

Said Cllr Constable,

“The convenor of the council’s Environmental & Heritage Committee will have been aware of these dropping figures long before the government published them and yet has done nothing to either halt the decline or to bring this growing crisis to the attention of members.

It is clear he has taken his eye off the ball as well as finding matching the performance of his predecessor to daunting a task.

The message is therefore, either shape up and restore the figures to the levels he inherited or step aside and let those with a record of achievement in this area get on with restoring public confidence in Falkirk Council’s recycling schemes.”

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