Lib Dem councillor critices Luton Borough Council over recycling centre cutbacks

Could reducing recycling centre hours lead to flytipping?
Could reducing recycling centre hours lead to flytipping?

The leader of the Lib Dem group on Luton Borough Council has blasted plans by the authority to cut back the opening hours of its recycling centes.

Cllr David Franks believes the plans to remove one weekday each week from waste centres at Progress Way and Eaton Green Road could lead to more flytipping.

He said: “It’s the latest part of Labour’s plan to make our town even dirtier than it already is.”

“They want people to recycle more of their waste and so they’ve decided to make recycling more difficult. It defies all logic.”

Currently the two centres operate seven days a week from 9am to 5pm and provide disposal for over 16,000 tonnes of household waste.

The Executive approved the move to cut hours last month, however the verdict was called before the council’s scutiny committee at 
the request of Cllr Franks and fellow Lib Dem Cllr Anna Pedersen.

The matter then went before the Executive again, who stuck to their original decision, with a concession that changes be introduced over a three month trial period so that potential flytipping could be monitored.

Cllr Tom Shaw, portfolio holder for waste, said most Luton residents recycled correctly, but because of “a handful” of flytippers there would be increased CCTV at the centres with fines of up to £400.

He added: “The upcoming changes ... will be heavily communicated throughout December this year to ensure as many people as possible are made aware of the changes to avoid a ‘wasted’ trip.

“If [residents] do forget that their local recycling centre is closed on the day they choose to visit, I ask that they simply make a short trip to the other centre which will be open just a 15 minute journey away.

“Our kerbside collection service is still the easiest way for residents to recycle right... We have invested in bigger green recycling bins and have delivered over 29,000 of them.”

Plans were also approved for random photo ID checks to stop people outside of Luton using the tips.