Welwyn Hatfield flats could get recycling collections

Woman putting banana peel in recycling bin in the kitchen cabinet. Picture: Sasha Suzi/Getty Images/

Woman putting banana peel in recycling bin in the kitchen cabinet. Picture: Sasha Suzi/Getty Images/iStockphoto. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Welwyn Hatfield flats could get recycling collections, if plans are approved.

Following an hour-long debate last Thursday (Sept 26), a motion was universally agreed by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to look at rolling out recycling at all flats.

However this is only if the scheme turns out to be feasible, as it might mean changes to a recently agreed nine-year rubbish collection contract worth £4.6 million a year with Urbaser.

Labour leader Cllr Kieran Thorpe agreed, saying he liked the "vigour" of the Liberal Democrat motion, but said it means changing a contract before it even starts in April.

Councillor Max Holloway, also from Labour, amended the motion to take it back to the climate change committee and change it from 'council-owned blocks of flats' to all flats, where feasible.

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Deputy leader of the council Duncan Bell, a Conservative, said he was "slightly more relaxed" by Labour's amendment. "I think there is an emerging red and blue," Cllr Bell said, adding he wanted to take it to the street mobilisation board as well.

The Liberal Democrats seemed surprised that Labour and the Conservatives made amendments to their motion but were pleased it was ultimately agreed on.

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Leader of the Liberal Democrats Cllr Malcolm Cowan said, after the debate, he was a "little disappointed a clear timeframe for implementation was more challenging to get agreement on".

"This is a major step forward. It took three amendments to get wording everyone could agree to, and I thank those who drafted those amendments, but now we can plan to roll this out, making our district cleaner and greener," he said.

The amendments and lengthy debate left some Conservative councillors frustrated.

Cllr Sunny Thusu said he was confused by "what's going on" and Cllr Caron Juggins said she had heard many speak about recycling while "drinking out of plastic".

In the end - with the addition of a Conservative-led amendment - it was agree the council would implement the policy for all flats if it could and would take it to the street scene mobilisation board and climate change group.

A report on the plans might be brought next month.

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