Waste jobs defended

ENDEAVOUR House bosses today defended their decision to employ three senior waste officials with a total salary of up to £85,000 - even though Suffolk County Council is not a waste authority.

ENDEAVOUR House bosses today defended their decision to employ three senior waste officials with a total salary of up to £85,000 - even though Suffolk County Council is not a waste authority.

The three new positions are: a corporate waste reduction officer at a salary of up to £29,685, a Suffolk Waste Partnership support manager at a salary of up to £36,738, and a waste campaigns officer at a salary of up to £18,993.

Borough and district councils are responsible for collecting waste and until now have drawn up waste strategies for their areas.

The county council used to run landfill sites, but these were privatised in the 1990s - and while it now has a strategic interest in waste issues across Suffolk it is not directly responsible for its management.

A spokeswoman for the county said the waste campaigns officer was being funded by a grant from the government and the support manager was being financed by all the local authorities in the county.

The waste reduction officer replaced a position that had been vacant for more than a year - but it was now felt necessary to re-appoint someone to it.

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She said: “The support manager will, among other things, be drawing up a waste strategy for the whole county - rather than having seven different strategies for the seven districts.

“It is vital that we draw up a comprehensive strategy because the government is going to set some very tough waste targets and if we don't meet them there will be heavy fines.”

She said the campaigns officer would be encouraging people to cut waste and would be paid for directly by central government.

She said: “The corporate waste reduction officer will be looking at all our own premises, offices, schools, every other building owned or run by the county, to see how their waste can be reduced or recycled.

“It's a position we have had in the past - but for the last year it has been done by a number of people in addition to their normal jobs.

“Now it is felt necessary to reappoint a full-time officer again.”

The deputy leader of the Labour opposition at the county, Kevan Lim, said the appointments did need close examination, but felt that they could ultimately represent good value for money.

He said: “When the government does introduce these new targets the fines will be fairly steep so the council does need to be serious about cutting waste.

“I don't know exactly what these officers will be doing, but if they do bring the amount of waste down then they could represent a good deal for the county.”

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