11 April 2018
Green Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty has responded to claims made by Councillor Gill Mitchell, Labour’s lead member for environment, that the council is ‘in discussions’ about changes needed to recycle plastic waste.
The Green Group recently urged the Labour Council to ‘come clean’ about the failings of the city’s recycling contract, struck in 2003 under a 30-year, £1 billion ‘Private Finance Initiative’ (PFI) deal with company Veolia. A letter to Government obtained through a Freedom of Information Request revealed that while other councils are able to recycle a wider range of materials including plastics, Veolia are ‘not willing to change their position on this.’
Responding to calls from the Greens to renegotiate the Council’s contract with company in the Brighton and Hove Independent, Cllr Gill Mitchell said the Council is ‘already in discussion with Veolia in relation to the retrofitting of technology that could enable a greater range of plastics to be recycled.’
Green Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty commented:
“Residents of Brighton and Hove have waited long enough for improvements to the city’s recycling facilities. Just last week it was revealed that despite calls for greater recycling of materials such as plastics, waste disposal company Veolia are ‘not willing to change their position.’ It’s clear that previous attempts to engage Veolia on this issue have been fruitless, so comments from Labour about ‘ongoing discussions’ are unlikely to reassure anybody.
“The Labour Council has already had months to tackle this. The response to Government was sent back in August last year. Instead of more buck passing, Greens want to see a timetable for action that sets out the options for retro-fitting our recycling facilities to take more plastics, something that other local councils and local companies have been doing for many years. It is unacceptable that a contract costing so much to the public purse is far from fit for purpose.”