Green res­i­dents beat coun­cil’s re­cy­cling tar­get

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views - STAFF RE­PORTER glamorgan.gazette@waleson­line.co.uk

THE Welsh Gov­ern­ment’s strin­gent new re­cy­cling tar­gets are be­ing smashed one year early in Brid­gend, says the bor­ough coun­cil.

Thanks to res­i­dents em­brac­ing new re­cy­cling and waste ar­range­ments that were in­tro­duced last sum­mer, the county bor­ough’s an­nual re­cy­cling rate has soared from 58 per cent in 2016-17 up to 68.5 per cent for 2017-18.

That puts the lo­cal author­ity well ahead of the Welsh Gov­ern­ment’s next statu­tory tar­get of 64 per cent for how much house­hold waste will need to be re­cy­cled in 2019-20, while by 2024-25 all Welsh coun­cils will need to achieve a 70 per cent re­cy­cling rate.

Fail­ure to meet those tar­gets will see lo­cal au­thor­i­ties face heavy fines of around £100,000 for ev­ery one per cent they fall short.

In June 2017, Brid­gend County Bor­ough Coun­cil in­tro­duced a new two bin bag limit on the amount of waste that res­i­dents can throw out each fort­night, started a sep­a­rate col­lec­tion for ab­sorbent hy­giene prod­ucts such as nap­pies, and gave res­i­dents new re­cy­cling con­tain­ers to make it eas­ier for them to be as “green” as pos­si­ble.

As the first an­niver­sary ap­proaches, Councillor Hy­wel Wil­liams, Brid­gend County Bor­ough Coun­cil’s deputy leader, said: “We brought in our new re­cy­cling and waste ar­range­ments last June be­cause our old kerb­side sys­tem wouldn’t have done enough to help meet these tough new re­cy­cling tar­gets.

“With the old sys­tem in place, we were only just achiev­ing the cur­rent 58 per cent re­cy­cling tar­get, but we knew that we needed big changes to push the rate higher and re­duce the amount of rub­bish that we’re throw­ing into land­fill.

“We ac­cepted the chal­lenge to re­cy­cle more and are ab­so­lutely de­lighted at the re­sponse from lo­cal res­i­dents. The in­tro­duc­tion of the new sys­tem hasn’t been with­out its faults, but its im­pact is loud and clear as we’ve recorded our high­est ever an­nual re­cy­cling rate.

“As the 2017-18 fig­ure in­cludes two months be­fore the new ar­range­ments were in place we’re hop­ing for an even higher fig­ure for 2018-19.”

Be­tween April 2017 and March 2018, Brid­gend County Bor­ough’s 63,624 house­holds re­cy­cled 34.7 per cent more food waste than dur­ing the pre­vi­ous 12 months. The amount of paper be­ing re­cy­cled shot up by 35.9 per cent, while res­i­dents re­cy­cled 30.9 per cent more plas­tics and met­als in their blue re­cy­cling sacks. Homes also re­cy­cled 13.9 per cent more glass and the to­tal amount of card­board re­cy­cled in­creased by three per cent.

The gar­den waste ton­nage rose dra­mat­i­cally by 43.2 per cent when com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year, and a to­tal of 755 tonnes of ab­sorbent hy­giene prod­ucts (in­clud­ing nap­pies) was picked up via the new pur­ple bag col­lec­tions.

The amount of refuse col­lected from bin bags in 2017-18 to­talled 12,647 tonnes, which was a 37 per cent re­duc­tion on the 20,198 tonnes col­lected in 2016-17.

Councillor Wil­liams added: “From these re­sults, it’s clear that res­i­dents were al­ready used to re­cy­cling their card­board and glass very ef­fi­ciently, but we’ve seen mas­sive im­prove­ments with all of the other ma­te­ri­als.

“Be­fore, it was too con­ve­nient for peo­ple to put what­ever they wanted in the bin, and many weren’t go­ing to the ef­fort of re­cy­cling cer­tain ma­te­ri­als be­cause they didn’t need to. Now, res­i­dents are chang­ing their habits, re­al­is­ing that it’s quite easy to get into a greener rou­tine, and I’d like to thank ev­ery­one for their out­stand­ing ef­forts.

“Many politi­cians told us that the two bag limit wouldn’t work, but res­i­dents have proved them wrong. As shown here in Brid­gend County Bor­ough, and in many other lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, plac­ing lim­its on waste cer­tainly has the de­sired ef­fect in mak­ing peo­ple con­sider whether or not they can be do­ing more to cut down on their waste and re­cy­cle as much as pos­si­ble.”

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