An environmental group has called on Dundee City Council to delay the planned closure of a recycling centre so that a full consultation can be carried out.
Politicians decided to shut Marchbanks Recycling Centre to save £316,000, leaving the Baldovie and Riverside sites.
Council figures obtained by Friends of the Earth Tayside under freedom of information legislation show that 7,118 tonnes of recyclables were processed at Marchbanks between 2007 and 2012, compared to Baldovie’s 6,590 tonnes and Riverside’s 4,385 tonnes.
Marchbanks also handled 2,152 tonnes of compostable garden waste and 19,914 tonnes of non-recyclable general waste in the same five-year period.
A report by director of environment Ken Laing said an average of 319 cars visit Marchbanks every day.
Friends of the Earth Tayside say the closure will “displace” more than 110,000 car visits a year and increase CO2 emissions as a result.
Doug McLaren of the group said: “Where will all the cars and the stuff go you might ask? Simple, says Dundee City Council there are two other sites, up to 10 and 15 miles away round trip, where the stuff can be dropped. But hold on: not all of it at the same site; to drop it all you may have to drive over 20 to 25 miles.
“There’s a sound approach to governance and taxation which rewards good behaviour and penalises bad, but Dundee is turning that on its head by penalising those who take the trouble to recycle and dispose carefully, while rewarding the ‘dumb dumpers’ and fly-tippers who can chuck valuable materials in the waste bin at home or in a layby, to be collected free of charge or rather from a proportion of the council tax.
“The council claims it will make big savings by running fewer of their own lorries but they are asking a gullible general public to pick up the price tag and emit over 4,000 tonnes of CO2 in the process.”
Mr McLaren has called on those who use the centre to urge their councillors to delay the closure and carry out a consultation.
He said: “There has been no open discussion about the effects of a closure no formal consultation has taken place, no soundly-based environmental assessment carried out.”
He added: “They should put the closure plan on hold until all the implications have been looked at and seek a solution which saves money but doesn’t trash the planet.”
Dundee City Council environment convener Councillor Craig Melville insisted the environmental group’s CO2 emissions claims are “purely speculative” and fail to take account of operational changes to the council’s other recycling centres “which will considerably reduce the amount of HGV journeys that the council has been making”.
He said: “We are cutting the double transport by HGV of bulky and garden waste between sites. So, from April 1, bulky and mixed waste from the public will only be accepted at Baldovie, while people should take all garden waste to Riverside.”