Welwyn Hatfield campaigners react to Herts County Council recycling decision

PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 May 2018

Cole Green Recycling Centre, 
Picture: Karyn Haddon

Cole Green Recycling Centre, Picture: Karyn Haddon

Archant

Environmental campaigners have reacted to Herts County Council's announcement that it has stopped recycling rigid plastics.

The council made the announcement on April 27, saying that that while the waste contractor Amey is working to resolve the situation, there is reduced market demand for the material, which they say is often of low quality.

Rigid plastics, which are now to be disposed of in the general waste bins at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), include items such as toys, storage containers, garden furniture and buckets.

READ MORE: County council temporarily not recycling rigid plastics

John Fitzpatrick, Labour councillor for Hatfield, said the council was “hiding behind a market value excuse” and that it should show more innovation. “It’s a backwards step otherwise.”

As a member of Clean Up Hatfield, he has joined their litter picks. “That’s why we’re having to go out and do these things.

“Things get chucked in the street because if councils can’t be bothered, neither can people.

“It’s about taking initiative.”

Hatfield resident Adam Edwards, who also litter picks with Clean Up Hatfield, said: “I don’t think Herts County Council is helping.

“Given what we pick up along the Alban Way, anything that puts barriers in the way of recycling - you end up with flytipping.”

Christianne Sayers, who stood as the Green parliamentary candidate in 2017, called the measures “irresponsible and short sighted”.

She acknowledged that the halt is only temporary, but said: “In the short term rather that resorting to landfill the council should look to processing the plastic locally ready for recycling in the future, such as separating and crushing or chopping, making storage more possible until the plastic is ready to be reused.”

She made several suggestions on how the council could reduce waste, including repair shops to encourage reuse, and a local rental scheme where residents can hire items.

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