Basingstoke and Deane Council (BDC) runs a successful recycling service every Friday, with the commitment of collection staff helping to recycle 10,800 tonnes of waste each year.
However, this commitment has now been called into question with a Veolia Environmental Services (VES) employee said to have told one resident not to bother separating recyclables from his rubbish as it is all gets burnt. Furthermore, the pensioner then watched in horror as the binman tipped his recyclables alongside piles of rubbish.
Padworth resident Richard Crick, 84 said: It is such a disgrace to discover that the bin collectors are so sloppy and they really need a kick up the backside. I am asking myself whether there is any point in bothering recycling any more, now that I have been told it is all incinerated.
While such messages could have a damning influence on a council which actually sees 92% of the recyclables it collects recycled, council officials remained confident the incident wont have too much effect on its high performance rates.
A BDC spokeswoman said: While such occurrences obviously arent helpful, there are no other reported cases, so we are hoping it is just an isolated incident.
Its doorstep collections take cans, bottles and newspapers with BDC head of street care Emma Broom moving quickly to reassure residents that the council was in fact dealing with materials in the correct manner.
She said: The recycling material is collected separately, apart from in very rural areas where split backed vehicles are used.
The whole process of recycling is audited by the Environment Agency to ensure that all material collected from residents for recycling is actually recycled.
Waste contractor VES stated that it is holding its own internal investigation into why such a comment was made by a member of its staff.