The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has expressed astonishment at the cost of a plan by Neath Port Talbot Council to swap all the household wheelie bins in their area for smaller ones in the hope of reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.
The Council report recommending the switch reveals that the total cost will be £730,000. It suggest that this will encourage local residents to recycle and compost more but Mr. Black argues that it is more likely to increase litter and fly-tipping.
Mr Black said:
"This scheme is barmy, a complete waste of £730,000 of the public's money, and comes at a time when the council is planning to cut a host of other important services which will impact upon local communities.
"If the council go through with this, over 45,000 households will lose their large 240 litre bin, and see it replaced with one which is over 40% smaller at 140 litres. All that will happen is more fly-tipping, and litter which the council will have to spend money clearing up. Nobody is arguing about the need to put up recycling, but Neath Port Talbot's approach is all compulsion, and no carrot.
"What is worse is that Labour are spending £730,000 on replacing wheelie-bins at a time when they are planning deep cuts that will affect the lives of local people and levying a council tax that is higher than that in neighbouring Welsh authorities.
"For instance, this huge amount of money could mean no cuts for early years development, and subsidized bus routes; no cuts for community meals, and no need to slap charges on those residents using the council's day services. It could also mean no cut in the amount spent on gully cleaning and land drainage which given the amount of rain we have had would seem to make good sense.
"Neath Port Talbot Labour councillors need to think again about this wasteful wheeze."