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Recycling rates fall in three areas of Gwent, two councils could be fined

RECYCLING rates fell in three areas of Gwent over the last year, with two local authorities missing the Welsh Government minimum target, new figures show. Welsh Government figures show that in Gwent, Newport and Monmouthshire were the only areas to improve their recycling figures.

Newport’s recycling rate increased from 66.4 per cent to 67.2, the eighth best in Wales, while Monmouthshire’s went up from 65.6 to 68.4 per cent. Monmouthshire council closed the Usk recycling centre last year – which had the worst recycling rate of any HWRC in Wales – in a bid to improve its rate.

But Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly councils saw declines in their rates. Torfaen missed the statutory minimum target of 64 per cent, with a rate of 62, down from 64.4 the previous year.
Caerphilly saw a further decline, with its rate falling from 62.5 to 61.9 per cent – the second year in a row that it has missed the national target.

Last year Caerphilly council blamed contractual issues with a third-party waste disposal company for failing to hit the target. Councils face a fine of £200 per tonne of excess waste for missing the legal target.

The Welsh Government considers factors such as how many times the authority has missed the target, how much it fell short by and what reassurances it has provided for future delivery before deciding upon fines.

Blaenau Gwent still hit the minimum Welsh Government target, but its rate fell from 65.3 top 64.3 per cent. Nationally the recycling rate was 65.4 per cent, a slight improvement on the previous year of 65.14 per cent.

Thirteen local authorities reported an increase in performance, and four areas missed the 64 per cent target. A reduction in business operations during the pandemic, including the closure of hospitality and offices, is believed to be the driver behind the lower overall waste figures.

The Welsh Government says an increase in household waste also reflects this, as more people spent time at home.

Julie James, minister for climate change, said: “Our recycling stats are world class thanks to a Team Wales effort. They show what we can achieve when government, business and the third sector work together towards a common goal. They also show that while investment and partnership working have been key ingredients of this success, ultimately this achievement has been down to people recycling at home in every part of Wales.”

Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Conwy and Vale of Glamorgan recorded recycling rates exceeding 70 per cent, which will be the new minimum target in 2024/25.

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Recycling rates fall in three areas of Gwent, two councils could be fined

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