Strategy will cost hundreds of millions of pounds

FOR many months the Conservative group has been asking questions regarding the methods of disposal used for green waste. The ruling Liberal

FOR many months the Conservative group has been asking questions regarding the methods of disposal used for green waste. The ruling Liberal Democrat group has consistently said that this is disposed of separately from domestic waste yet rumours have persisted that all was not well. A recent investigation by ITV West exposed the fact that the council's contractor was mixing both types of waste and disposing of this in landfill.This is just one example of why the Conservative group is extremely concerned about the current and long-term arrangements of the disposal of waste.The Lib/Lab coalition unthinkingly want to join forces with the South West Regional partnership involving all the unitary authorities of former Avon. If we do so then this strategy will cost hundreds of millions of pounds over the next 25 years, much of which will be paid by the local charge payer, and will remove decision making from local control. It is essential we get it right.We believe there is substantial expertise within our own area and it is our intention to invite local companies and individuals involved in waste management to a series of meetings to discuss all facets of the industry in an endeavour to find the best solution and value for the district. Without such a study the taxpayer could well be left to pay for an expensive white elephant for decades to come.CLLR PETER BRYANT - Beach Road, WestonTHE ITV programme to which Councillor Bryant refers did NOT show ANY green waste from North Somerset going to landfill, nor is there any foundation for Cllr Bryant's suggestion that the 630 tonnes of composted waste in question came from North Somerset. In fact, North Somerset was not mentioned in the programme at all.In any case, the composted kitchen and garden waste that was highlighted in the programme was not put into landfill, but was legitimately used for land restoration at closed areas of the landfill site and was not subject to landfill tax. This material replaced topsoil/compost material, which would otherwise have had to be imported to the site for this purpose.So far this financial year, the council has sent around 12,400 tonnes of green waste for composting, avoiding expensive government taxes and fines that arise from the landfill permit scheme. North Somerset's green waste collection was introduced by the Liberal Democrats last year and is very popular with residents. The Conservatives opposed it strongly and would presumably prefer the green waste to carry on being landfilled in Devon, and to pay the associated Government fines of £150 per tonne leading to a consequent rise in council tax. I can reassure residents that processed compost product is NOT put into landfill and would urge them to continue both with home composting and with the green waste collection service.CLLR Deborah Yamanaka - Executive member, North Somerset Council

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