I welcome this U-turn by the SNP Administration. I am glad that they have listened to opposition councillors and more importantly to the people of Dundee. I find it ironic that they are trying to claim credit for this given that they have consistently said that there are no problems with this policy.
This policy was wrong, despite what the report to the council says next week I do not think that the policy was working in the way in which the council thought it would. The council is about to start a consultation on the future of domestic waste collection and recycling across the city I hope that it is handled better than this policy has been. I also hope that they listen to the people of Dundee from the start and don't impose something only to come back months later with their tail between their legs and admit that they got it wrong as they have over the recycling centres.
Dundee should be at the forefront of recycling. I want Dundee to have a reputation as Scotland's greenest city. I am prepared to work with other political parties, charities and the people of Dundee to make this happen. Since they got it so wrong in this case I hope that the SNP Administration will be open to working constructively with others to restore Dundee's environmental reputation.
Earlier in the week I gave my views to the Courier about the council's policy on the recycling centres. I am glad that the SNP Administration's U-turn has dealt with this problem. You can read what I said below:
'It is important that the City Council lives up to its responsibilities and encourages recycling as much as possible. Over the next few months Dundee City Council is going to consult with the people of Dundee regarding domestic waste collection. I welcome this consultation I find it remarkable that a similar consultation was not held prior to the closure of the Marchbanks Recycling Centre. It beggars’ belief that the future of the recycling centres at Marchbanks, Riverside and Baldovie are not included in a review of domestic waste in the city.’
‘Part of the justification for the change in policy was to reduce the number of lorry journeys undertaken to move to recyclable material around the city and thereby reduce the City Council’s carbon footprint. By asking people to make a round-trip from say Craigowl to both Riverside and Baldovie of something like 17 miles are we actually doing anything about the carbon footprint of the city in general? The council should be giving a lead to the rest of the city in terms of care for the environment, indeed in the past Dundee City Council has given the lead to Scotland in terms of care for the environment. The council should be making recycling easy for the people of Dundee. Unfortunately, I fear that recent changes have resulted in the council making it harder for people to recycle in Dundee, I am sure that nobody wants that situation.’
‘I am also concerned that we may well have a situation where instead of taking material to a recycling centre it is dumped somewhere. This causes environmental problems as well as possibly being a fire-hazard and the council will have to clear it up anyway offering a cost rather than a saving to the council.’
‘I know that the council is in a difficult financial situation and needs to look for cost savings. We have been told all along that changes to the recycling centres were not about costs, if that is truly the case then the council has an opportunity, at the very least, to say let’s include the future of the three recycling centres in the review of the domestic waste collection strategy.’
‘On behalf of the Labour Group I want to do what is best for the environment of the city and the people of the city. We are prepared to work with the Administration to look at ways in which this problem can be dealt with. I think that the future of the recycling centres should be looked at, should we return to three centres, should they all take the full range of material?’
'Most importantly how can we as councillors ensure that the people of Dundee receive the service that they want and need? I am glad that the council says it will listen to people over the issue of domestic waste collection, surely we should also listen on the issue of recycling centres.’