Resource Use

Cardiff ‘temporarily’ sending recyclables for incineration

Cardiff Council has urged residents to continue to separate recyclables at the kerbside despite announcing it had taken the “temporary measure” to send recyclables to waste management company Viridor’s Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) for incineration during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Council released a statement on Thursday (16 April) explaining that all general waste and recyclables, apart from garden waste, would now be collected together weekly and be sent to Viridor’s ERF at Trident Park as “the safest option” for residents and crews during the crisis.

Cardiff Council logoResidents in Cardiff, who usually have separate collections for dry mixed recycling, food waste, glass and garden waste, are being asked to continue to separate their recyclables into their green recycling bags in order not to “break the recycling habit” and because there won’t be room in black bins for both general waste and recyclables.

Cardiff Council, which recycled 59 per cent of its waste in 2018/19, has a contract with the Trident Park ERF to dispose of its non-recyclable waste, which is then turned into heat and energy. Currently, Trident Park ERF generates 250 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity every year.

‘Temporary measure’

Commenting on the announcement, Cllr Michael Michael, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Environment and Recycling at Cardiff Council, said: "All waste types – with the exception of garden waste – are currently being collected weekly in one vehicle and this waste is being brought and treated at an Energy Recovery Facility.

"It is important to emphasise that this is only a temporary measure implemented to
ensure we can maintain a kerbside collection service across the city while supporting the health and welfare of the workforce and residents during the lockdown.”

The council has asked residents to store garden waste in their gardens until collections can be reinstated, and to put food and hygiene waste in the black bins, unless they live in an area where separate brown food waste caddies are provided, in which case they should continue to use them.

Residents have also been warned not to dispose of batteries and unwanted electrical items in their general waste as this can cause fires and could cause an explosion if exposed to high temperatures, such as in an incinerator.

Michael continued: "Our priority at the moment is to remove waste from the city's streets as quickly and as safely as possible. We have to do this with reduced resources due to the Covid-19 outbreak and the extra help we are giving to the NHS. Our message to all residents is please continue to recycle your waste in the green bags provided it helps us, it helps your neighbours and it helps the city."

‘Unprecedented pressure on services’

A Viridor spokesperson added: “Viridor is assisting Cardiff Council as it experiences an unprecedented pressure on its services in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Like Cardiff Council, Viridor believes materials which can be recycled should be returned to the circular economy, and those which cannot should be used to generate low carbon heat and power at energy recovery facilities. Viridor’s Trident Park ERF is receiving recyclable material as part of temporary measures introduced by the council during this very challenging time.

“Viridor is offering every assistance to local authorities by providing access to its network of specialised recycling and energy recovery facilities across the UK during this very difficult time. As an essential service, the company is aware of the need to maintain waste management services and avoid further challenges for the health sector.”

You can read Cardiff Council’s full statement on the council website.