PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: In the week when the council launched a Blue Planet-style video to get people to take greater care over how they dump plastic waste, in the Clocktower buildings next to the Town Hall, recycling boxes have been taped over. KEN LEE reports
This is a photograph, taken this week in the foyer of the Croydon Clocktower, right next to the Town Hall itself, that demonstrates Croydon Council’s real commitment to recycling.
It is a perfect example of the difference between everyday reality for residents dealing with rubbish contractors Veolia, and the council’s spin.
The taped-off recycling boxes sit there, testament to the hypocrisy of a local authority which is patronising Council Tax-payers over recycling, just as it is sending hundreds of thousands of tons of waste to the Viridor incinerator at Beddington, which has been seen to fire up in earnest this week.
The recycling boxes are taped off, making it impossible for library users or CALAT students to do anything with their one-use plastic drinks bottles other than condemn them to “landfill waste”. Or, more likely, to be incinerated (its cheaper for Veolia than all that messy nonsense with recycling, after all), with the resulting plume of fumes and pollution to be blown across south London.
According to Inside Croydon’s eagle-eyeed loyal reader who spotted the bins, “This was taken in the corridor of CALAT this morning, only a few metres from the Council Chamber.
“Seems to me that if the intention is to increase the level of recycling, it might be a good idea for the council to have started a little closer to home.”
This is in the same week that our council, together with neighbours Sutton, Kingston and Merton, members of the South London Waste Partnership, have started pumping out pollution of another kind, via social media.
No doubt at considerable public expense, the SLWP has gone all David Attenborough, and produced a Blue Planet-inspired video about the perils of plastic pollution.
“The plastic you don’t recycle could harm ocean life,” the pious public servants patronise via their Twitter feeds.
The council Twits urge residents to visit a SLWP website “to find out how you can help. Don’t let our planet become plastic.”
They then add all the hashtags that they can muster, including #DontMessWithCroydon and #TakePride.
Presumably, Councillor Stuart Collins, Croydon’s cabinet member behind the “clean, green borough” and the Labour-run council wants us to take pride in the fact that they have gone along with the £210million incinerator, for which we will be paying £10million a year to burn the borough’s rubbish, creating our own stream of potentially noxious air pollution.
At least 300,000 tons of additional rubbish will be burned each year in Beddington alone, as London edges ever closer to burning 50 per cent of all its waste, rather than recycling it.
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