Recycling ‘threat’ to restaurant boss

Litter Letter: Owner of the Maazi restaurant in Matlock, Irfan Shabir, has been warned by Derbyshire Dales District Council after a customer attempted to recycle one of their empty tiffin boxes at the recycling site at Sainsbury's.
Litter Letter: Owner of the Maazi restaurant in Matlock, Irfan Shabir, has been warned by Derbyshire Dales District Council after a customer attempted to recycle one of their empty tiffin boxes at the recycling site at Sainsbury's.
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A RESTAURANT boss says he has been ‘threatened’ by council chiefs - after one of his takeaway food boxes was found in the wrong recycling bin.

Shocked Irfan Shabir, owner of Maazi Indian restaurant in Matlock, was told he could be held responsible, after one of his boxes was found in a recycling collection bin meant for drinks cartons.

The box was discovered during a routine inspection of Derbyshire Dales District Council’s site at Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Waste management and recycling officer, Keith Hollinshead wrote to Mr Shabir telling him the box was “obviously dumped by one of your customers” and that he could “ultimately be held responsible for its disposal.”

He added: “May I suggest you have printed on your boxes a message to customers to dispose of the takeaway box in a responsible and legal way.”

Mr Shabir said people should recycle rubbish but felt the letter was unfair.

He added: “I’m amazed that someone could sit there and come up with a letter like this for just one box. It seems a waste of time and resources to me and I find the letter quite threatening.

“Will they now be sending letters to Mr Kellogg’s and Sainsbury’s about their packaging being put in the wrong bins?

“I don’t know why they have singled me out. I can’t be held responsible for what all of my customers do.”

But a spokesman for the council said they only meant to offer advice to help customers dispose of takeaways responsibly.

He added: “We would stress it would never be our intention to prosecute in these circumstances and we are sorry if there has been any misunderstanding in this respect. Our first action before even contemplating enforcement of any kind would be to offer good advice, and hopefully that’s what we have done here.”