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Public views on recycling? Forget them, says Labour

‘The preference of waste producers (for example, householders or businesses) for different methods of waste collection will not be a relevant consideration….’ (Welsh Government guidance, December 2014)

That’s the guidance issued to councils by the Welsh Labour government, ahead of significant changes that come into force next year.

From January 1st, all organisations involved in the collection of waste are required to set up separate collections for paper, metal, plastic and glass.

The change follows an amendment to the EU Waste Framework Directive, which is aimed at improving the quality and quantity of recycling across the UK.

However, the Welsh government’s guidelines – published on its website (http://wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/epq/waste_recycling/pu...) - effectively recommend that the views of residents and businesses are ignored by all those organisations collecting waste.

The full guideline (number 37) reads:

37. The preference of waste producers (for example, householders or businesses) for different methods of waste collection will not be a relevant consideration unless it identifies technical, economic or environmental impracticabilities.

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Local Government, Janet Finch-Saunders AM, said:

“This guidance is an absolute shambles. It amounts to the Labour government advising councils to almost completely ignore the views of local people and businesses.

“That’s an absurd guideline that doesn’t help anyone through these changes.

“Not only could it result in confusion and poor collection of materials, it’s a slap in the face to just about everyone who produces recycling.

“Only Labour could come up with this kind of dictatorial nonsense.

“The views of residents and businesses are hugely important in this process and I urge the Welsh Labour minister to swiftly correct his mistake.”