The Green Party is calling for the Labour administration to work with the GMB union and local businesses in the city to find better ways of managing the city’s waste. Cllr Jillian Creasy has submitted a motion to next Wednesday’s Full Council meeting, which is likely to be lobbied by people worried about the reduced opening hours of the five recycling centres (“dumpit sites”).
The motion recognises that, when the city moves to fortnightly black bin collections, the pressure for people to recycle their waste will intensify and a cut in services could result in more fly tipping. It also points out that, as resources become scarce, there is more and more money to be made from re-using and recycling. Unfortunately, because of the Council’s long-term contract with Veolia to manage the city’s waste, the council can’t take advantage of much of this income. The profit is kept by the subcontractor, SOVA Recycling, or shared with Veolia.
Cllr Creasy commented, “When the tender for the five recycling centres came up for renewal, the Labour administration should have worked more closely with the unions, local businesses and the voluntary sector to come up with innovative solutions. As it is, Veolia and Sova Recycling are making a profit while the service has been cut and jobs lost. This shows again that long term contracts with private companies are a mistake.” ENDS
The motion is as follows:
Notice Of Motion Given By Councillor Jillian Creasy
That this Council:-
(a) recognises that the introduction of fortnightly black bin collections will increase the pressure for householders to recycle their waste;
(b) recognises the valuable service provided by the 5 recycling centres across the City which allow members of the public and small businesses to dispose of waste in a socially and environmentally responsible manner and that a reduction in this service may lead to more fly-tipping;
(c) recognises that, due to global resource depletion, the value of materials is increasing and the profit to be made from re-using and recycling is rising;
(d) would prefer any such profit to be used to maintain and improve the service to the public and the business community and to create local job opportunities rather than boost the income of profit-making national or multinational companies and their share-holders;
(e) recognises that the front line workers and their union representatives can provide inside knowledge about services and make useful suggestions about more efficient and innovative ways of running services;
(f) is therefore disappointed that the recent retendering of the recycling centre service is based on reduced opening hours and loss of jobs and believes that there has been a failure to set up sustainable and future-proof arrangements; and
(g) notes that similar mistakes are being made across the whole field of waste management and urges the new Cabinet Member for Environment, Waste and Streetscene to undertake meaningful discussions with the GMB Union and to visit small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involved in waste management and recycling in the City.