Ed Davey is yet again blatantly and cynically engaged in misdirection of the electorate prior to an election – the pattern is repeating itself: from the discredited “Save Kingston Hospital” 2010 campaign; the “Save the Chessington Greenbelt” 2014 campaign and the to “Stop the building on the Fairfield” 2015 campaign. To be clear none of these campaigns have any basis in fact. They are simply made up for electoral purposes. That doesn’t matter; why let the truth get in the way of a made up story?
We are neither building on the Fairfield nor stopping or intending to stop weekly recycling; it simply isn’t true.
It was Ed Davey’s Liberal Democrats that lengthened an expensive and failing waste contract in August 2013, so that they wouldn’t have to change the system going into a local election. That failed system has costs millions of pounds in disposal costs because amongst its many failings, 63% of the contents of landfill bins are recyclable including food waste, garden waste, paper and cardboard ALL sent to landfill. I am shocked that anyone can call that a success.
The new scheme will allow us to increase the Borough’s recycling rate, which has fallen year on year for the last three years under the Liberal Democrats. By providing a second, separate wheelie bin for paper and card (removing the need for the current cardboard white sack and at least one green box), we are ensuring that the recyclates remain dry – getting paper and cardboard wet as it did in the old system meant it had to be sent to landfill.
The last administration spent £1.5 million per year for the past 8 years sending recyclable material to landfill – a total of £12 million of your hard earned cash! We’re making it easier and simpler to recycle. Surveys done in Kingston and across the UK as a whole show that people say they would recycle more if the containers were larger, or if they had more of them. A separate bin for paper and card will allow residents to recycle more paper and card, whilst freeing up space in green boxes for more plastic, tins and glass. Ed Davey is insulting his constituents’ intelligence when he says they’ll be confused about the one simple change of glass, plastic and tins being collected one week, and paper and card the next. After all, you picked up the current system fairly quickly when the Lib Dems abolished weekly landfill collections in 2008.
This new scheme also has the benefit of saving residents £4.2 million over the seven year life of the contract – the equivalent to a 3% increase in Council Tax. Much of this is saved in not having to replace expensive, bespoke waste collection lorries. But we’ll also save money where Ed Davey actually says it’ll cost more. For example, by providing people with sturdy, robust bins for paper and card (already factored into the contract cost), we’ll have to provide fewer replacement green boxes. We currently replace 10,000 per year at a cost of £50,000 – that’s a fifth of Kingston’s households receiving a new box every single year and it soon adds up! The change in the way that recycling is to be sorted, from ‘kerbside sorting’ to ‘twin streaming’, will help prevent health problems for operatives who currently undergo a lot of physical stress and strain, lifting and twisting repeatedly with heavy boxes. I am shocked the Liberal Democrats began the current contract with this type of recycling collection without any regard for operatives’ health.
Additional benefits of the new system include 33% fewer waste collection lorries on our roads so less traffic clogging up our residential streets and less pollution released into the atmosphere. Further, the new bin for paper and card will stop recyclates from being blown all over the place during windy weather. This makes the new system cleaner, greener and leaner. I am not a fan of the spend and tax and tax again Labour Party but have a look at what they say about this misdirection on their website: http://goo.gl/RYpOz5
Neither Ed Davey nor LibDem Cllrs bothered to contact me or other Lead members about recycling or to propose viable costed alternatives, how much more disingenuous could you be? Ed Davey has a history of harvesting email addresses for his election campaigns, and this time is no exception. Don’t be taken in.
Lead Member Infrastructure and Contracts