Recycling company Green Dot came into the firing line on Monday as Frenaros community council called for the agriculture minister to mediate a spat between the two.
The village in the Famagusta district has requested on three occasions to join the recycling programme but has been denied service by the non-profit making company.
“Despite three requests which have been sent since September 2018, Green Dot has rejected us and not a single clear answer has been given as to why we cannot join,” said community leader Michalis Hadjiyiorkas.
Hadjiyiorkas also pointed out that two neighbouring municipalities, Deryneia and Sotira, are connected to Green Dot whose trucks come and pick up used packaging.
“Having read the company’s mission statement, concerning the environment and its future, we thought we would have been accepted at the first request – without having to ask for the agriculture minister (Costas Cadis) to intervene,” he said.
Green Dot was launched after an EU Directive required companies selling packaged goods to retrieve the used packaging and recycle it.
But the logistical nightmare of a company attempting to retrieve used product packaging was understood in the legislation.
Companies have a “soft” opt-out option, whereby they can pay another company to retrieve the used packaging for them – which is where Green Dot comes in, and also where it receives its funding.
“The issue is that Green Dot, as part of its licensing agreement, only has certain targets,” Green Party MP Charalambos Theopemptou told the Cyprus Mail.
“The government should chase down companies that do not pay what they should be and revise Green Dot’s licence to increase their targets,” Theopemptou said.
And while Green Dot’s creation and initiatives are widely praised, their work in practice leaves many in the public frustrated – especially in rural communities.
“Unfortunately, in the villages there is no Green Dot!” said one online user. “We have to take the recycling into the city and the job is even more difficult when we can’t find recycling points.”
Others complain of a chaotic schedule and tardiness in collection.
“It’s sad that weeks go by without recycled goods being picked up, resulting in mini rubbish tips being created,” said another critic.
Green Dot was not available to comment on Monday.