Call for better waste recycling across area

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Leeds City Council is facing calls to increase the amount of waste recycled in Wetherby and across the city.

It follows recent publication of the government’s new Waste Strategy, which proposes a number of measures to encourage local authorities to improve recycling, including a potential return to weekly collections of food waste and free garden waste collections.

Wetherby Councillors Gerald Wilkinson, Norma Harrington and Alan Lamb say the City Council should boost the range of plastics it recycles and increase the number of food waste recycling routes to include Wetherby, as part of a wider more ambitious strategy to cut the amount of waste going to landfill.

Coun Gerald Wilkinson (Conservative) said: “Leeds needs to aim higher with its recycling rate.

“Targets have been dropped over recent years as the Council struggled to meet its original ambitions.

“There is clearly much more the Council could be doing – increasing the range of plastics it recycles, rolling out more food waste recycling routes and garden waste collections. Wetherby residents and people across the city deserve a more ambitious strategy.”

Coun Norma Harrington (Conservative) said: “Cutting the amount of waste going to landfill should be a key priority.

“People actually often want to recycle more, and whilst we acknowledge some of the work the Council is doing with plastic waste initiatives, we think they could be going further.

“Neighbouring authorities already offer glass waste collections and this is something that should be considered in Wetherby, along with food waste recycling.”

And Wetherby Liberal Democrats is calling for Leeds to repeal the DIY Tax charges at recycling centres in the city.

David Hopps, secretary of Wetherby Lib Dems, said: “Fly-tipping charges have scarred our beautiful landscapes and undermined pride in our towns and villages.”

He said Leeds recorded more than 26,000 individual instances of illegal waste dumping in the past year, including nearly 1,700 occasions where ‘white goods’ such as fridges were abandoned.

Mr Hopps, who found flytipping in Wattle Syke, added: “Even if Wetherby has fared better than most parts of Leeds, once standards fall they are hard to recover.

“Cuts to police budgets mean that flytippers assume they can get away with it. Just one in 450 fly-tipping crimes end up in court.

“Although fly-tippers can be jailed for up to five years, the most common outcome is a fixed-penalty fine, which is often less than the cost of paying to use a licensed tip or waste disposal site.”