The Oldham Liberal Democrat Group has hit out at recent figures which show that Oldham has the second lowest rates of recycling in Greater Manchester, after the city itself which has always been the lowest. Annual figures published by WasteDataFlow show recycling rates at only 39.7% of waste in 2016/17, which compares unfavourably with high performer Trafford at 61.3%.
Commenting on the disappointing news, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group and Leader of the Opposition, said: “The Labour Administration introduced three weekly bin collections supposedly to encourage recycling, but the evidence before our eyes in the wards that we as Councillors represent is that there is more and more fly-tipped waste and that it is both a health hazard and a public eyesore.”
“This Council needs to ‘up its game’ in getting more of our residents to recycle a greater proportion of their waste more often. Landfill charges for the Council to dispose of general rubbish responsibly are very high and the cost of cleaning up after fly-tippers is phenomenal. This is Council Tax payers’ money that could be better used to look after our aging population or improve the life chances of our young people. We need better information and to encourage and work in partnership the public to co-operate to improve our rates. We also need enforcement when they do not. That is what people tell me who do their bit for the environment and recycling.”
Councillor Sykes added: “The new Leader of the Council has spoken about the need to invest more in our street cleaning teams and in our enforcement officers, and I welcome this commitment so it is a real shame that Labour has repeatedly voted against Liberal Democrat proposals in past budgets to make these same investments through making savings in Civic Centre bureaucracy and waste. The Liberal Democrats will happily work with the new Leader to make our Borough cleaner and more attractive, and I do hope that he will now revisit our sensible proposals to help make that happen.”