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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007, 13:34 GMT
Recycling 'ended up in landfill'
Rubbish tip
Some of the recycled waste ended up in a landfill site
Fife Council has been criticised after tonnes of festive waste which should have been recycled was dumped as landfill.

A Dunfermline recycling centre failed to cope with an increased volume of paper, cardboard and food containers over the Christmas period.

The problems at the Wellwood Recycling Centre began on 27 December, when crowds of people appeared.

Fife Council's operations manager Roddy Mann said it had been "regrettable".

He added: "Immediately after Christmas we were inundated with materials and effectively demand for the service outstripped our ability to fully deliver.

Until this incident Fife Council had a relatively good record on recycling - and currently has one of the highest recycling rates in Scotland
Duncan McLaren
Friends of the Earth Scotland

"In an effort to keep the centre open we had to take the regrettable decision to move some of the boxes straight over to the landfill site.

"We are reviewing the whole situation over this period to find out what went wrong and what we can do to ensure this does not re-occur in the next festive period."

He added that they would be investigating reports from a member of the public that recyclable material that did make it into some of the 30 skips at the site was also dumped.

Staff were unable to cope and boxes filled with recyclable materials which would normally have been separated were put straight to landfill.

Mr Mann said they had experienced problems at the centre until 7 January, but that it was now back operating at a normal level.

'Bad news'

Friends of the Earth Scotland's chief executive, Duncan McLaren, said: "Until this incident Fife Council had a relatively good record on recycling - and currently has one of the highest recycling rates in Scotland.

"However, any time material that should be recycled ends up getting dumped is clearly unacceptable.

"It is bad news for the environment and for the taxpayer.

"Fife Council needs to urgently review its procedures to ensure such a problem can never re-occur."

Mark Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said: "While Fife's festive problem points to a growing public support for recycling, that support is built on trust that these valuable resources are not just being dumped."

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