27/02/2010

Recycling in Ceredigion – the next level

Ceredigion is planning to bring in weekly kerbside recycling collections and cut those of ordinary waste to fortnightly in an effort to go to the next level in reducing the amount of rubbish sent to landfill. That was the decision taken at the Council’s Cabinet meeting this week.

After a slow start to the recycling game Ceredigion has become the best recycling performer in Wales and one of the best in the UK. In fact we’ve been so good that Assembly auditors have crawled all over the figures thinking there must be some mistake. Even so, the relentless yearly increase in landfill tax gives a powerful incentive to keep progressing or risk paying more for waste each year.

Having costed a range of options, including no change, the Council has concluded that both the least costly and the best, in terms of minimising landfill, will be to reverse the current practice in Aberystwyth of collecting black bag waste weekly and recyclables fortnightly. They also now plan to extend this, as well as the town’s weekly food waste collection, to the whole county.

The plan will not be without its critics. Having clean recyclables sitting around in the home waiting for the next fortnightly collection may take up space but at least it’s not smelly. Some flats in the town centres may have difficulty finding a ventilated place to store bags containing the kind of things you want shot of as quickly as possible. On this basis the councillor for Aberystwyth Central ward opposed the scheme.

Nevertheless, in terms of simply maximising the amount sent for recycling as against landfill the idea has to make sense. It must be very common for someone not committed to recycling or lacking space in their flat to put perfectly good recyclables into the weekly black bag when the next recycling collection is still 10 days away. Greater availability of a recycling collection has to increase the amount recycled. It also changes the psychology of the thing. Instead of recycling being an add-on to the weekly collection of ordinary waste, recycling becomes the main thing with the residual things that can’t be recycled mopped up afterwards. And the electorate seem to understand this, going by a recent consultation exercise which showed that 67% would support the idea.

The new scheme isn’t going to happen tomorrow. These things take time to organise, and the change could still be up to two years away. But Tuesday’s decision of the Cabinet has set in train Ceredigion’s move to the next level of recycling.

4 comments:

  1. Food Wastes should be locally re-used.
    Anaerobic Digestors can be established on a local level, producing Bio-Gas on a small scale.
    In 2004, http://www.sundancerenewables.org.uk compiled a report for Plaid Cymru on AD in Carmarthenshire.

    The work has been done, the technology is present, the money is available. So can we PLEASE Just Do It.

    http://thearcproject.co.uk - Needs YOUR support to support your community.

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  2. Adam - Agree. For info, here's a passage from the report to Tuesday's Cabinet meeting on Tuesday,
    "The Mid-Wales Waste Partnership, which is a collaboration between Ceredigion and Powys, is looking at options for the treatment of source segregated food waste to meet the WAG targets. The Partnership is making much progress and hopes to start procurement this financial year".

    I understand they're planning an anaerobic digestor facility on the Ceredigion/Powys border, exact venue not yet decided, to serve both counties.

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  3. I'm probably in favour of this proposal on balance. But it strikes me as rather odd that opposing a fortnightly collection was one of the Lib Dems' main election themes in 2008 and here they are enacting it. Ho hum, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised; Lib Dem election leaflets have a long-standing reputation for being works of fiction.

    Having a digestor facility 'on the Ceredigion / Powys border' doesn't really leave us in much suspense. That means it's either Glandyfi or between Ponterwyd and Llangurig. I doubt whether bin lorries could make it up the pass between Cwmystwyth and Elan, or to Abergwesyn!

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  4. Some dont even have a recycleable waste pick up at all- and I live 5 miles from Aberystwyth- What are the chances of my recycling being collected??? I already compost all my own food waste! It's all BS if you ask me!

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