Waste – A Change of Heart or Winning Votes?

Got to love surprises and Cabinet sure surprised those Members present at today’s Cabinet meeting. The topic was the recommendations on the future of waste collection in Cornwall.

I have previously blogged about these proposed changes, but five minutes before Cabinet was due to start a revised set of recommendations were handed out to Members. These new recommendations are as follows.

(a) Approval to be given for two options to be developed for pricing though procurement process both of which are to be based on weekly collections and are specified as:

Scenario 2 – Food and non recyclable waste to be collected weekly and dry recycling and garden waste to be collected fortnightly

Scenario 8 – Food waste and dry recycling to be corrected weekly and non recyclable and garden waste collected fortnightly.

(b) for both selected waste collection options the garden waste service to be a subscription based service and to include a mixed provision of wheeled bins where that is possible and sacks.

(c) the collection of mixed plastic be agreed in principle and the procurement to be progressed on this basis.

(d) delegated authority to be give to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Waste Management, to undertake a process to canvass the views of householders in Cornwall on the specific issue of whether non recyclable waste collections should be fortnightly or weekly.

Talk about an about face on what was first proposed. Personally I believe that the change of heart is more about political face saving than making the service better. This option that has now been presented at today’s Cabinet could have been presented in the first place.

A Cabinet Member said at today’s meeting said are we more about making a better environment or winning votes. That Cabinet Member hit the nail squarely on the head. I believe that the change of heart is more about vote winning, than trying to make a difference to the planet that we all live on. I will admit that I used to throw everything into a black bag, that is until I saw how much money it costs the Council in landfill tax and the legacy we are leaving future generations.

For me the best system will be the one that encourages more people to stop throwing everything into a bag which in turns gets thrown into a hole in the ground.

From what I saw today, the Cabinet Member for Waste has been sent down the river with a hole in his boat and without a paddle.

One more thing to add is that these new proposals do not include the provision of a wheeled bin. I really think that there should have been an option that includes wheeled bins in any proposals for costing and feasibility.

For the Agenda item, that includes the different scenarios, please click HERE

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