Brent Council rubbished for spending �90k last year on PR and marketing for its recycling scheme

Six-fold on promoting their controversial changes compared to what town hall usually spend annually

Brent Council spent nearly �90,000 on PR and marketing its new recycling scheme introduced last year.

The controversial changes, launched in October 2011, saw household rubbish and dry recyclables collected fortnightly.

During the first two days of the roll-out, 2,700 calls were made due to missed collections, overflowing bins, lack of information and constantly engaged helplines.

But it has been revealed in a Freedom of Information request that last year the local authority spent �86,300 on its PR and marketing of the scheme.

Between 1994 and 2010, �15,000 was spent each year on PR for recycling.

Elaine Henderson, member of Brent Friends of the Earth, who writes the popular I spy in Queen’s Park blog, said: ‘There is obviously still confusion about what should go where under the new recycling system.

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“Blue lid bins for recycling are often overflowing with black sacks, and there is a lot of confusion about cardboard, with uncertainty over whether it can still be put in with garden waste.

“I’m sure Brent was planning to call door-to-door to explain the new system – but that didn’t happen around here – and I don’t know anyone who had a face-to-face explanation.”

However, the council says the spend was worth it as recycling rates have increased from 30 per cent to more than 40 per cent in just three months.

A council spokesperson said: “Our spend on PR for recycling increased in 2011 in order to tell people about the improved and extended service.

“This was money extremely well spent which will save council taxpayers far more in the longer term.

“Brent pays well over �8million in landfill charges each year.

“Thanks to the new service, recycling rates increased from 30 per cent to over 40 per cent in just three months meaning much less was sent to landfill.

“This will save Brent over �1million each year. We have already saved much more than we spent on PR.”