In Thursday's Echo Cllr Ware-Lane and I went head to head in the Echo big debate on black sacks. Yesterday on his blog Cllr Ware-Lane published his comments. For those of you who do not purchase the Echo my comments are below:
We need to recycle more as landfill costs are going through the roof. With the tax escalator on landfill costs it's going to cost us more and more as an authority to pay for landfill. Effectively, we may just as well put £3 Million in a hole.
As we can recycle 98% of household items in blue bins, white sacks, pink sacks and through garden waste there is hardly anything that needs to go into black sacks. It is only items like used nappies, pet litter and polystyrene that are unsuitable for recycling.
It seems absurd that if we are trying to encourage recycling, why would we give people black sacks to just put money into a hole in the ground?
Some opposition members claim that there are issues in recycling which are down to black sacks. If recycling rates were falling I might be inclined to agree, but recycling rates have continued to rise.
There may be some issues with people putting general waste in recycling bags but there were already hotspots in pink sack cross-contamination before black sacks were removed.
I find opposition comments quite disingenuous when they only proposed saving 45,000 rolls of black sacks for one year. What would they do in subsequent years? With an estimated 80,000 properties in Southend who would receive black sacks? Would people be means tested?
The main thing is that if residents still want to create black sack waste, we still provide a mechanism to collect it on a weekly basis.