01/09/2010

Ceredigion names recycling switch date

Ceredigion Council have named week commencing November 15th as the date on which recycling collections will switch to weekly and residual waste to fortnightly.

A letter sent to community councils says:

“You may be aware that the Welsh Assembly Government has produced new and tougher targets for recycling, aimed at ensuring that Welsh local authorities achieve European Union targets limiting the amount of waste sent to landfill over the coming years. Failure to meet the new targets will result in Ceredigion County Council incurring substantial financial penalties

“The new Ceredigion household waste collection service will involve a weekly recycling collection service as well as the introduction of a weekly food waste collection service, covering the entire county. The little waste that households will then have left over should be deposited in black bags and will be collected fortnightly.

“Recycling and food waste will be collected on the same day using a split-bodied vehicle. This vehicle is specially designed to accept the two different materials without contaminating either of them. Both materials will then be taken to one of the County Council’s transfer stations for bulking up prior to further treatment elsewhere. The food waste will subsequently be treated to produce energy and compost. The recyclate will be sent to reprocessing plants."


It’s going to be interesting to see how it all works out in Aberystwyth town centre where there are particular concerns about the practicalities of the scheme in blocks of flats. Although I’m broadly supportive of the scheme, for the obvious pressing environmental reasons, I do think some of these concerns are being underestimated by the Council (“The little waste that households will then have left over...” ?) and they’ll have to be pretty pro-active in dealing with them.

One big flaw from an environmental perspective is that the Assembly aren’t encouraging Councils to promote home composting for those with space in their gardens alongside the food waste collection. According to council officers this is because the Assembly wants to know exactly how much waste is being diverted from landfill and it’s not possible to measure the amount of home composting – surely a case of the auditing overiding the objective.

4 comments:

  1. I think this idea while admirable, is very much flawed.
    As you have stated what about the blocks of flats? What about private student houses of 10 people (Of which there are quite a few in Aber)? What about large families, I mean 10+ people living in a house? What about the old/ infirm and mentally ill, will all these people be capable of recycling? I know I would worry about my granparents for example. Surely all these people will require more than one bin collection per fortnight.
    I for example recycle as much as I can, and often 1 collection per fortnight isnt enough to collect all the things I recycle yet I still manage to fill a bin with the 6 of us in our household.
    Also I hope this wont mean our town centre is littered with bags on the days before collections that I can easily forsee, with both students and flat owners having knowhere to put their black bags.

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  3. It seems to be working fine here in Carmarthenshire. Black and blue (recycling) bags go out on alternate weeks; kitchen waste every week in the brown bin. The 6 of us are now down to 1 black bag a fortnight (we're allowed 4).

    I shouldn't be too worried about student households in, especially, Aber. How much black bag waste do students generate? Isn't the vast proportion of student waste recyclable or compostable?

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  4. Thanks both. The Council had a recycling information stall at the Aberystwyth Farmers' Market yesterday and, despite (from what I saw) being quite busy, actually only had one person expressing objection to the scheme.

    The Council do seem to recognise the potential problems and take them seriously. Their approach to addressing them is to deal with properties struggling with the scheme on an individual basis as any one solution won't fit all.

    Of course, as Emlyn points out, this kind of scheme is already up and running in many other places. Only time will tell how it works here in Ceredigion. By the way, Council Officers do read this blog so any comments made will be noted.

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