Thumbs up for recycling plan at council meeting

A MOVE to scrap the current method of roadside recycling collections in Amber Valley came a step closer after councillors gave it their approval.

Last week plans were announced to replace the system, which sees residents sort their recyclable materials into separate bags and boxes, with a single all-in-one bin, throughout the borough.

It could come into effect by October this year, if negotiations to extend the contract with waste disposal firm Veolia to 2020, are realised.

At Wednesday night’s Amber Valley full council meeting, councillors voted unanimously in favour of pursuing the scheme.

However leader of the opposition Labour group Cllr Paul Jones, said there were some ‘unanswered questions‘ in the Tory led council’s proposals.

He said: “My view is, if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.

“We haven’t got any details over whether this is sustainable in the long term.

“I want some assurance that it does link in with Derbyshire County Concil’s vision of having a waste strategy that stretches across the county.”

But Cllr Jones went on to say: “I do fully support it , if it comes off it will be one of the best things to happen to this authority.”

If negotiations with Veolia are realised residents will also be able to put plastics in the all-in-one bin, collected fortnightly instead of taking it to one of the borough’s 41 recycling banks.

Cabinet member for cleaner, thriving places to live Cllr Jack Brown, who is playing a key role in the negotiations, said the new contract will see the authority make savings in the hundreds of thousands.

He added that the contract was not put out to tender because the process would incur a longer wait for the new style bins, which will be fitted with a removable caddy for glass items.

Cllr Jones asked the Conservative bench why, when it last discussed contract terms with Veolia in 2005, was the council was not offered ‘the same deal’?

The reply from the leader of the authority Cllr Stuart Bradford was that ‘technology has improved’ since then.

He said machinery introduced at recycling plants can now sort waste into different types, and has reduced the cost of services. Bin lorries are also capable of carrying more load than they used to, he added. Cllr Bradford finished by saying: “From our perspective we are not interested in entering into any contract likely to fail.”