OPPOSITION bosses on Braintree Council are calling for budget changes to boost recycling.

The Green and Independent Group – the largest opposition group on the council – is looking to propose amendments to the budget following the council’s decision to scale back some elements of the recycling system last year.

A main concern centres around kerbside collections the council no longer collecting Tetra Pak drink cartons.

Critics fear the containers will end up in landfill. The Green and Independent group claim neighbouring Maldon and Chelmsford still collect and recycle Tetra packs.

Group leader James Abbott said: “In the case of Tetra Packs, the Braintree Council cabinet member says people should find alternatives.

“But the fact is that for many products, particularly for alternative diets, there is as yet no alternative to Tetra Paks.

“Obviously there is a need for all packaging to be more sustainable – and the Government needs to deal with that as soon as possible.

“But for now, Tetra Paks are still widely used and they can and should be recycled and not thrown away to landfill.”

The group is also calling for requesting the re-instatement of at least some green waste collections. The service is now suspended for three months over the late autumn and winter, but was year-round a few years ago.

The group wants green waste to be collected at least until Christmas.

Mr Abbott said: “With autumn lasting longer due to climate change, it makes sense to efficiently collect green waste such as leaves and garden tree and shrub prunings from those residents that rely on the service, rather than each household having to take materials in their own vehicles to the recycling centres.”

He added: “Green and Independent councillors will also continue to lobby Essex County Council to re-instate the services they withdrew at the Witham Recycling Centre.

“Progress on recycling in Braintree district has stalled in recent years. Councils need to make sure that recycling is made as convenient and attractive as possible, alongside promoting waste minimisation.

“Reducing recycling services could lead to more waste going to landfill which is both a waste of resources and a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.”

Conservative council leader Graham Butland said: “We welcome the discussion on the budget but until we see the formal amendments it is difficult to comment further.

“However I am confident that we have produced a strong budget which provides good value across all the services we deliver.”