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Following Kerrier District Council’s recent motion of no confidence in the Cornwall County Council Waste PFI process the council is also expressing its concern about the increase, come October 2008, in the cost of processing kerbside collected materials.

As part of Cornwall County Council’s agreement with SITA, Kerrier is legally bound to deliver collected materials from the Blue Box scheme to SITA.

SITA will introduce a charge for processing the materials and this charge must be met by the Kerrier District Council.

It is likely that the additional cost to Kerrier after October 2008 will be in the region of £60,000 - £100,000 per year; the more residents in the District recycle, the more SITA will charge the Council.

Clearly this sum will have to be met from Council Tax or lead to a reduction in recycling or other services.

As an example, Kerrier currently pays £27.00 to a local company for each tonne of kerbside collected garden waste which is composted, under SITA the same process will be charged at over £31.00 per tonne.

For each tonne of paper recycled by residents (currently about 150 tonnes per month), SITA will charge Kerrier £25.00, previously, under the former ownership of the Cornwall Paper Company, there was no processing charge imposed.

Likewise processing charges will be introduced for all other materials Kerrier residents currently place in their Blue Boxes.

Under the previous ownership of Cornwall Paper Company the council was paid for some of the materials collected.

From October 2008 SITA will no longer pay Kerrier for the recyclable materials delivered to them.

Previously this was worth £40,000 per year which is used to offset the cost of the recycling schemes.

Councillor Graeme Hicks, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for the Environment said: “This demonstrates the reality of the County Council's "highly acclaimed" I.W.M. Contract. No one should be under any illusions that when SITA impose these charges it is not going to be without a significant cost to the tax payer, especially as the public expectations are for Kerrier to increase its recycling rates.

“These bully boy tactics deployed by Cornwall County Council are an affront to the fundamental principles of partnership working, two fingers to the admirable concept of environmentally sustainable waste management, and a kick in the teeth to the already hard pressed council tax payer.”

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