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LARAC hits out at biased media campaigns

Parts of the national media have been condemned by the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) for what it described as biased, irresponsible coverage of alternate weekly waste collections. LARAC also accused some papers of trying to form public opinion instead of reflecting it.

The organisation felt that certain media campaigns, which called for councils to revert to traditional weekly collections, had not given the public all the facts, including the true costs and consequences of the change.

LARAC chair Lee Marshall said: Normally we would welcome waste issues being debated in the national media. But a debate implies that you listen to both sides and use reason and intelligence to carry your case. [However,] certain papers are peddling their own agenda.

Reverting to weekly collections in some areas, where there are collections of residual waste, dry recyclable and organic recyclable waste, could cost councils more than £700,000 a year. LARAC believed the media had not made this clear. Councils only have finite resources, meaning another service would need to be cut to pay for such services.

Marshall added: In some cases alternate weekly collections will not be the most appropriate solution. But in others it will. Councils face tough choices if they are to contribute to stemming climate change. But the continued increase in recycling rates across the country shows that the majority of people support and agree that they need to take more responsibility for the waste that they produce.

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