Double standards claim over food waste

Councillor Watson McAteer
Councillor Watson McAteer

A Hawick councillor is accusing Scottish Borders Council of double standards over the introduction of the new £675,000 a year food waste strategy.

Watson McAteer says the equality argument which was used as one of the reasons not to reinstate the garden waste service has no credibility as only 24,500 households in the Borders will be included in the new food waste scheme.

That, according to the Hawick and Denholm member, blows the equality claims in the garden waste debate to bits.

Speaking this week, Mr McAteer said: “I am very surprised that the compelling equality argument, that played a central role in the decision not bring back the garden waste collection service, does not apply to the new food waste collection service.”

And he added: “While I understand the council have sought legal opinion I suspect, like many, ‘equality’ to me means just that.

“One thing council tax payers can be sure about is whether you receive the service or not you will still be paying for it.”

And in the Vox Pop on page 15 of this week’s paper, townsfolk have made their views clear, branding it “not necessary”, “horrendous” and “pointless”.

Mr McAteer continued: “The Hawick folk that have spoken to me all understand that the council are required to introduce the food waste collection service. What sticks in their throat is that this weekly service is not what the need or want. They say they will be watching a half-empty food bin being picked-up by a state of the art truck while their garden waste will be dumped in their own car, if they have one, for a trip to the Mansfield recycling centre.”

An SBC spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government has developed a classification scheme of rural and urban areas and used this to create a list of all areas to receive a food waste collection service.

“In the Borders this means Hawick, Jedburgh, Galashiels, Tweedbank, Selkirk and Peebles are required to receive the
 food waste service.”