Recycling service ‘on target’ despite legal bid

THE district council’s new recycling service is still “on target” despite a legal challenge being brought by Bryson Recycling.

Banbridge District Council has expressed “disappointment” at the legal action being taken over a decision to bring the recycling service ‘in-house’.

A judicial review on the matter will now be held on May 15 and 16 at Belfast High Court after Bryson Recycling was granted leave to proceed with an “arguable case” in October last year.

The challenge has come in the wake of the council’s plans revealed last February to change the nature of the domestic recycling service and bring it ‘in house’.

Bryson Recycling claimed the decision was not “legally compliant” and the result was “seriously flawed and not in the best interest of ratepayers”.

In a statement issued to the media, director of Bryson Recycling, Eric Randall, said, “This action will determine whether Banbridge District Council’s decision to bring its recycling service ‘in house’ was taken legally.

“We believe that the correct way to determine best value is to put the recycling collection service out to tender and let the market decide.”

The statement also criticises the council’s decision to press ahead with the purchase of £1m worth of new vehicles and recycling containers ahead of the hearing in May.

In response, the council stated that all recycling options had been carefully evaluated and it was the council’s opinion that the replacement of the kerbside box with recycling bins would be more popular and more efficient.

The council spokesperson also pointed out that the court had already rejected an application to prevent the new recycling service going ahead as planned in April.

Bryson Recycling brought an injunction application against the council in an attempt to halt the roll-out of the scheme, but this was rejected by the judge.

“The Council is very grateful to Bryson Recycling for a 10 year partnership involving their kerbside box arrangement which is due to come to a natural end on 31 March 2012,” added the spokesperson. “We understand Bryson Recycling’s concern that the council did not renew this contract but we carefully evaluated all the options and believe the replacement of the kerbside box by recycling bins will be more popular and more efficient.

“We are disappointed that Bryson Recycling has pursued a judicial review of the council’s decision but we are confident that our decision was in our customers’ best interests, contributing to an annual saving of approximately £400,000 to local ratepayers.”

Anyone with any queries about the new scheme can call the council on 028 40660604 or visit the website www.banbridge.gov.uk