Bedford Borough Council has failed to meet its own modest targets for increasing participation in both the orange bag and green bag recycling schemes. The council pledged to increase the number of households taking part in the schemes by 5 per cent by March 2008, and has fallen well short of its target in both cases.
Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats have pressed for increased efforts to raise recycling rates. Commenting on the Council's failure to meet its improvement target, Lib Dem Group Environment Spokesperson Cllr Paul Whitehead said: "It is simply not good enough for the council to miss its own modest targets for increasing the number of people taking part in its recycling schemes. Bedford Borough's recycling rate is too low. In addition to the environmental damage done by landfilled waste, there is also a large and growing cost for local taxpayers who will be forced to pay for spiralling landfill taxes.'
"Too often residents who want to recycle find that there are barriers in their way. The council must address this. The Liberal Democrats have secured £20,000 to pay for recycling improvements at blocks of flats to help more people take part in the scheme. We also want to see orange bins provided to those households that choose to have one as soon as possible. The environmental and financial costs of sending our rubbish to landfill have created an urgent need for a considerable increase in recycling in Bedford Borough. It is time for the borough council to start showing that urgency."
In its Corporate Plan for 2007 - 2009 Bedford Borough Council pledged to increase recycling participation by 5 per cent for both compostable waste and dry recycling by March 2008. It has failed to meet this target, with compostable waste collection participation increasing by just 2.99 per cent, and dry recycling participation by just 3.77%.