Down Councillor Cadogan Enright has expressed alarm at the ending of funding for a curb-side recycling scheme in Newcastle.
Cllr Cadogan Enright said that the three and a half thousand residents of Newcastle, Bryansford and Castlewellan who use this scheme are way ahead of the District Council on this issue.
Cllr Enright stated “We are missing an opportunity by allowing this recycling scheme to fold. Our capability for recycling in Northern Ireland has a lot of room for improvement and I am seriously worried that the Council is missing a trick here.”
He continued “I attended the Audit Committee of the Council last week and discovered that the Department of the Environment are refusing to pay Down District Council £67,000 for dumping at Drumnakelly landfill site.”
Cllr Enright pointed out that this amount was enough to keep the inter-church recycling scheme going this year.
“Failing to collect charges at Drumnakelly dump is causing cut-backs in recycling schemes. This is upside-down logic as it will only increase the amount of rubbish going to the dump by 300 tonnes per year, filling up valuable spare capacity. Ths scarce space can be sold by the council for a profit.”
The issue of funding for the scheme was raised by Cllr Enright at Council before Christmas. At a meeting of the Council last week (late January ’07), Councillors Enright and Clarke proposed a motion to grant further funding to the group, but this was defeated by the combined SDLP, DUP and UUP votes.
“This loss of funding has resulted in job losses and is a step backwards in our waste policy in Down District. When curb-side collection becomes mandatory and recyling targets are raised from the current 38% progressivly up to 80% we will have to tender for this service and either Bryson House in Belfast or some multinational will benefit taking jobs and profits out of our area and we will lose capability for the Newcastle Inter-Church Association” Concluded Cadogan Enright.