Political air turns blue in recycling ‘farce’ row

Cllr Andrew Sangar
Cllr Andrew Sangar

A POLITICAL row erupted this week over a revamp of Sheffield’s recycling scheme, which is due to start this month.

Opposition Labour councillors said the system for using blue bins and boxes was “a complete farce from day one”.

Changes are due to be made to allow residents to choose how to use the recycling receptacles. At present, the blue box is for paper and card and the blue bin for plastic, glass and cans.

Ruling Liberal Democrats announced last November that they were preparing to allow the choice from April 1 – a commitment underlined in the new budget, although no funds were identified at that stage.

Coun Gill Furniss, Labour spokesperson for waste management said: “This seems to be yet another example of how (the Lib Dems) made commitments on the hoof, without having proper plans in place to implement them.

“The reality is that the Lib Dems have been completely incompetent when implementing the new recycling service and the whole blue bin/box situation has been a complete farce from day one. They should have consulted properly and listened to local people from the start.”

The council has been negotiating the change with waste collection firm Veolia.

Coun Andrew Sangar, cabinet member for climate change, said: “We are hoping to get the issue resolved in the next couple of weeks and then implemented so that local people can have the choice the council is committed to.

“I’m disappointed that negotiations with Veolia are taking a little longer than expected but there is no way we are about to roll over and allow the taxpayer to be ripped off by them.

“I think the people of Sheffield would prefer us to take a little more time in order to get the best deal possible. It is best to get this right rather than saddle Sheffield council tax payers with an over-inflated cost.”