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Few residents have seen £20,000 film about waste
A film noir-style detective drama, created to educate Hertfordshire residents and cut food waste, has itself been branded "a massive waste" of taxpayers’ money.
The professionally-produced three-part video titled ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ tells the story of private investigator Rex Green’s efforts to save the county from a compost catastrophe.
It was commissioned by WasteAware, a partnership between Hertfordshire County Council and other local authorities, to explain to people the issues around properly separating food and garden waste from other rubbish. The cost of production was £20,000.
It can currently be seen in a mobile cinema at events across the county and was at the Olympic Torch celebrations in St Albans yesterday (Sunday) before heading for Watford’s Charter Place Shopping Centre on July 21.
Despite this, the county’s Liberal Democrat party says it has obtained figures suggesting the video has only been viewed by 1,000 people this way – with an additional 61 ‘hits’ on YouTube since it was uploaded online last month.
Cllr Rob Prowse, Lib Dem environment spokesman, said: "The 15 minute film has been professionally made at a cost of £20,000 to Herts taxpayers yet very few people have ever heard of it, let alone seen it.
"WasteAware is funded by the county council but doesn’t seem to be accountable to anyone for how it spends taxpayers’ money.
"The Lib Dems agree with the aims of WasteAware but this is simply not on. At £20 per viewing, the film itself seems a massive waste."
Derrick Ashley, Hertfordshire County Council's cabinet member for waste and chairman of Hertfordshire's Waste Partnership, said: "Making sure people know what they can - and can't - put in their organic waste bin is vitally important for how we deal with household waste in Hertfordshire."
Leon Edwards, from producers Upside Out, said: "How do we make something interesting enough for people to want to watch while making sure we cover the important messages clearly and therefore changing attitudes? We think we have managed it."