Propaganda row mars Islington’s compulsory recycling launch

THE new compulsory recycling scheme was launched in Islington this week amid controversy and recrimination.

Since Monday, people living in the borough have had to recycle their household waste or face fines of up to �110.

Islington Council chiefs say the move will help the environment and save cash, and have sent leaflets to every household in the borough informing residents of the new rules.

But their town hall opponents say the publicity campaign - which also included bus stop posters and adverts in the council magazine IslingtonLife - was just “propaganda”.

Councillor Arthur Graves, environment spokesman for the opposition Liberal Democrats, said: “It is incredible that while Labour councillors cry crocodile tears about how tight council cash is, they can blow nearly �50,000 on propaganda advertising an unnecessary and unfair policy all of their own making.

“The council has now admitted compulsory recycling is unenforceable in blocks and estates, so what’s the point? It will just mean people living in houses and street properties will be unfairly targeted for fines and by council bin snoopers.

“Labour councillors seem to think nothing of wasting money on glossy propaganda and pet projects like this while slashing other services. Yet again, Labour are making the wrong choices in Islington.”

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But Councillor Paul Smith, Islington Council’s executive for environment, said it is only fair to make people fully aware of the changes - and accused the Lib Dems of senseless bickering.

“Recycling is a great way to save money,” he said. “It costs �15 a ton to recycle and �80 a ton to put stuff in landfill - so every ton that we recycle is an opportunity to put money back into council services.

“Spending 25p a person to tell people how they can save the council millions of pounds is common sense.

“This is a time when we should be standing together against the Government cuts - and I’d invite the Lib Dems to stand up for Islington rather than trying to deflect attention from the cuts their party members imposed on our community.”