Misleading council-tax payerse on waste re-cycling

Edward Davey is quoted in a Liberal Democrat leaflet as saying: “the Conservatives are axing weekly collections for all recycling for everyone in Kingston”.

Now Edward Davey has a track record of either making things up or failing to understand what is happening, so it is worth having a look at what is going on. To take just a few of the of the Davey constructions:

  • he fabricated a story about the closure of Kingston Hospital maternity ward
  • he invented a story about  a specialist children’s ward closing when it was not even a consideration
  • he claimed the Conservatives were about to build 70,000 new homes on the Chessington green belt
  • he claimed responsibility for getting railway station accessibility work undertaken when it was already in the scheduled improvements that had to be undertaken by law.

So it is always worth examining the Davey claims and looking for the truth.

A Labour government put a heavy “green” tax on landfill to encourage recycling and councils across the country have responded with a wide variety of schemes that have reduced the old landfill sites significantly. But there is always room for improvement.

The current system in Kingston is hugely inefficient – largely down to the manual sorting on the kerbside into old lorries.

Picture a grey winter morning when the rain has been falling heavily all night. Along the road the paper and cardboard put out for recycling is getting soaked and turning to mush. It is impossible to recycle wet pulp so there are two options:

  • put the wet paper in landfill and pay tax on it
  • put the wet stuff into big dryers to try to dry it – this costs a fortune in wasted energy.

While they were running the council, the Liberal Democrats never bothered to review the recycling scheme to look for improvements and cost savings. Now Kingston council has been working with the recycling contractors to make inroads into the costs of disposing of wet paper in landfill. The proposed solution is to:

(i)                              keep the weekly food waste collection

(ii)                            continue to collect landfill waste fortnightly

(iii)                           collect paper and cardboard one week and tins, glass and plastic the next

(iv)                          give everyone a waterproof container for paper and cardboard.

There may be problems in some flats where there is little space for more wheelie bins. Once such cases are identified, they can be dealt with.

The proposed new scheme is due to start in January 2016.

The savings to the Council: over £0.6 million each year for the next seven years. The Labour Party has many ideas on where this saving could benefit disadvantaged working people in Kingston. The most stupid thing to do would be to stay as we are and throw that money into the landfill along with the wet paper.

And Edward Davey? Well maybe he will tell you why he has been misleading you. Don’t hold your breath though. Hopefully the leaflets he distributed will get recycled and will not go into landfill and incur costs to Kingston council-tax payers.