PEOPLE across the district will be “outraged” to learn the council is sending recyclable waste to landfill – according to one local director.
Andy Taylor, who runs the small business LTC Healthcare in Boroughbridge, said he was amazed to learn that trade waste he had paid Harrogate Council to collect was being “shoved in the ground”.
“I’m pretty outraged with the whole situation,” he said.
“I’ve got a whole big pallet full of cardboard boxes and paper which should be recycled and instead it’s going to landfill at Allerton Park.”
He said the policy made a mockery of the council’s attempts to become more environmentally-friendly and undermined the good work being done by residents who recycled.
“Households are putting the cans and newspapers out on a Monday and then these guys are just coming round and dumping tons of cardboard boxes and newspaper every week,” Mr Taylor said.
“It probably accounts for about 200 households, in terms of newspapers, every week.
“It’s pretty shambolic and I wonder if the rest of Harrogate is aware. We are all told to go green and recycle, and this is just an absolute joke, to be honest.
“We are teaching our kids about recycling and the environment – the last people I expect to see putting waste in the ground are the council.”
Mr Taylor said the authority charged £11.50 a week to send the waste to landfill, while he had found a company in York that would recycle it for £8.50.
“The company asked me: ‘Are you aware that the council just put it in a hole in the ground?’ and I said, ‘No, they recycle it’, but they assured me they weren’t doing,” he said.
“We bring pallets in and get a lot of cardboard and shrink-wrapping material and we need to dispose of those responsibly.
“When we rang the council up two years ago, we were told it was a recyclable service and got delivered one of those green wheelie bins.
“The general public are being told we have a green council and I think they would be absolutely outraged if they knew that newspaper and cardboard boxes from local businesses are just being shoved in the ground, especially if there’s another business which is cheaper and they actually recycle it for you.”
Mr Taylor is cancelling his contract with the council, but the small print means it will still run until the end of March 2013.
Coun Michael Harrison, cabinet member for the environment, said: “Mr Taylor has a contractual dispute with his trade waste contract and it is wrong to suggest he has been misled about recycling when he has simply found what he thinks is a better trade waste deal in the private sector.
“The council has never claimed to recycle the trade waste it collects.
“We are in the process of revamping our domestic waste and recycling service, and this will include expanding the kerbside recycling collection service for residents to include cardboard and plastic bottles.
“Once this is complete, we will then review our trade waste service, and recycling the waste that is collected will be one of the key factors in the review.”