Ealing's 'Rubbish' Christmas Tree
Council defends five-figure cost of tree made from recycled plastic bottles
Ealing's choice of Christmas tree has raised some eyebrows this year.
Made from 900 recycled plastic bottles by artist Ashley Phillips it's the first of its kind in London.
It's part of the council's recycling campaign designed to make people think more about waste and encourage recycling - but there have been criticisms that it's a waste of money.
Conservative Coucillor, Colm Costello, asked about the cost and was told it was £12,961. Last year's more conventional tree was £1,500. Cllr Costello writing on his blog says:
' It might be that this turns out to be a brilliant idea and helps the Council reach it's target of recycling 50% of household waste by 2020 but I doubt it. It looks like another expensive gimmick paid for by the Council taxpayer.''
An Ealing Council spokesperson said: ''The £12,961 cost for the design, construction and lighting of the tree is part of a larger campaign to encourage people to recycle 50% of waste by 2020. Funding for the campaign has come from various sources including the government, WRAP and the council.
"Not only is it better for the environment to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, it would also save council tax payers' money.
"Over the festive period the amount of waste we send to landfill rises by 20%, costing us more than £1 million. If we can inspire people to recycle more and reduce the amount of waste in December and January by a tiny amount then the tree will have paid for itself.
"Reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and we're pleased that people are talking about recycling. The tree can be reused by the council or hired to other organisations to continue to spread the recycling message."
The tree will be in place outside Ealing Town Hall until 5 January.