The recycling of household waste is a vital weapon in the fight against climate change. By reducing the amount of waste which would otherwise be incinerated or buried in landfill, recycling helps to cut the production of damaging greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.
So important is recycling in reducing greenhouse gasses that successive governments have, over the years, introduced a vast array of rules, regulations, guidance and laws relating to all aspects of domestic, commercial , and public sector recycling and, as a waste collection authority, TDC is expected to follow these requirements and guidance.
On paper it appears that TDC takes seriously it waste recycling responsibilities. For example, in its 2019-23 Corporate Statement it was promised that “We will review the recycling service and continue engaging with the community to increase the District’s recycling rates”. But the reality is very different.
Despite the council’s promises there has been no review of the councils recycling service, especially the all-important recycling of domestic waste, and during the life of the 2019-23 Corporate Plan there has been no increase in the rate of household waste recycling either.
According to figures produced by the Government in the five year period 2018-19 – 2022-23 Thanet council’s household waste recycling rate did not, despite promises to do so, increase, but more or less flatlined at approximately 35% when the national average rate of household waste recycling stands at 44%
As the government map shows Thanet Council has one of the lowest rates of household waste recycling in Kent and south east England and, to its shame is amongst the worst recyclers of household waste in the country. This goes to show that TDC has lied about, and failed to deliver on, one of its most important environmental promises – to use its power and resources to increase recycling and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
All of the statistics I have mentioned in this article are
publicly available, easy to find and understand but, it would appear, not one of the Thanet’s 56 elected councillors seems to have gotten off their lazy arses and made a serious effort to find out for themselves how well a TDC service as important as household waste recycling, is performing.
Nor has the council been honest to those it is supossed to serve by fessing up to having a rubbish record for rubbish recycling and doing something about it. What a disgrace!
If that wasn’t bad enough Thanet has five Green Party councillors. As someone who is an environmental campaigner and who agrees with and supports most of the Green Party’s policies, it galls me to have to say that not one of their councillors has spoken at TDC meetings about the pathetic performance of the councils household waste recycling record.
Not once has a Green Party councillor demanded at TDC meetings that the long promised review of household waste recycling takes place, or that this important matter be referred to the council’s scrutiny committee or its internal audit service. Clearly Thanet’s Green councillors have more important things on their mind than campaigning to increase TDCs household waste recycling rate so as to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
But it’s not just the Greens who appear to have turned their back on a critical environmental issue. For most of the 2018-19 to 2022-23 period the Labour Party has been running TDC and Cllr Steve Albon has throughout this time been the Cabinet Portfolio holder in charge of waste collection and recycling.
Apart from blaming the public for overfilling kerbside and car park recycling facilities when these facilities were wholly insufficient or not emptied in a timely fashion, Albon has not said a word in public about the abysmal performance of the household waste recycling service for which he is personally responsible.
Nor has he lifted a finger to order the long promised review of this service and improve its abject failure. But he does appear very happy to take a £9,000 per year allowance for being TDCs waste management Tsar. An allowance many would say in his case is a reward for failure.
In any other walk of life, the person in overall control of a failing service is quickly sacked from their post. This practice should, in my opinion, be applied to Cllr Albon, who must be immediately removed from his Cabinet post.
Perhaps the five less than alert, and less Green than Green councillors, could also redeem themselves by resigning from the Council for being asleep at the wheel of an electric car, when a serious environmental failure was taking place under their noses.
Either way there can be no doubting that TDC needs better, more aware, more clued up, independent and questioning councillors than the ragbag of assorted tossers and ne'er do wells the political parties have foisted upon us.
The Councillor who called the cops on me and thought I would'nt find out.
Turn Broadstairs' Dickens Museum into social housing