Council on track to bag waste targets
9:00am Sunday 15th April 2012 in News
Waste recycling may be in the bag for Pembrokeshire, which is on track to meeting next year’s target, the county council has said.
According to Welsh Government guidelines, 52% of waste must be recycled in local authorities across Wales in 2011/2012.
Richard Brown, head environmental services at Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “In 2009/2010 the target for Wales was to recycle 40% of its waste, and Pembrokeshire made the target at 40.7%.
“In the second quarter of 2011/2012 the Environment Agency calculated our recycling rate at 51.8%. So we are well on the way to reaching the 52% mark.”
And by 2025, the target set by the Municipal Sector Plan is that at least 70% of Pembrokeshire’s waste should be recycled.
Cabinet member for the environment and regulatory services, Councillor Ken Rowlands said last year Pembrokeshire was one of the few authorities, which reached its recycling target.
And although good progress is being made, the council will be fined £200 per ton of waste over the limit if the targets are not met.
To reach this goal, the authority has already introduced glass collections in recent weeks, and will be bringing in even more recycling initiatives, including more food waste collections.
Mr Brown said: “Our glass is recycled back into bottles as opposed to glass aggregate, which is less environmentally beneficial.
“When we look for recycling destinations, we always weigh up mileage and the end use, and work out what is most beneficial.”
Cllr Rowlands said that food waste is currently sent to an Oxford anaerobic digester where it is turned into methane gas to make electricity.
He said: “It is far away but if it is left in Pembrokeshire without being treated, then all of those gasses would be released into the atmosphere.
“So our carbon footprint is offset by the benefits of harnessing this gas and using it to make electricity.”
Cllr Rowlands added that plans for an anaerobic digester to be built in the Swansea area in the next two years are already in place, which will reduce transportation costs.
To view the Welsh Government report into how Pembrokeshire County Council disposes of its waste, visit www.wales.gov.uk/ waste.