Wales approves £7.5m funding for councils to boost recycling

The Welsh Government has approved £7.5 million of funding to help local authorities to further improve recycling services, just days after Wales was once again revealed to be the UK’s best recycling nation.

Released last week, the statistical report, ‘UK Statistics on Waste’, showed that Wales had extended its lead as the best municipal recycling nation in the UK, moving to 12 per cent above the UK average, while the Welsh Government has independently reported recycling figures of 64 per cent for 2016/17, placing it second in Europe and third in the world.

In order to continue this improvement, Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn today (27 February) announced £7.5 million of funding to support local authorities make improvements in their recycling services over the 2017/18 period during a visit to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council’s recycling depot in Pentrebach. Merthyr Tydfil is among those to receive funding, having been awarded £1.3 million to spend on specialist machinery and equipment including a recycling baler and trolley boxes.

Wales approves £7.5m funding for councils to boost recycling
Welsh Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn visiting Merthyr Tydfil CBC's recycling depot in Pentrebach

The funding will be administered through the Collaborative Change Programme (CCP), which provides specialist support to local authorities through the awarding of capital grants to authorities that want to change services to improve their overall performance and to better align with Welsh Government policy, continuing the journey towards making Wales a zero waste nation.

Speaking from Merthyr Tydfil, Hannah Blythyn said: “Wales’s recycling success is a real devolution success story. In the 20 years since Wales said yes, our recycling rate has increased from just over five per cent to 64 per cent - the third best in the world. Only last week it was officially confirmed Wales has increased its lead over the rest of the UK.

“This is excellent news but I know there is still plenty of room for more. Our recycling achievements have been massively boosted through improvements and expertise provided by Welsh Government funding. This is why I am approving over £7.5 million for this year towards the Collaborative Change Programme. This funding will enable local authorities to adopt practices that lead to further improvements and help us achieve our ambitious targets”.

Leader of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Cllr Kevin O’Neill, added: “Since the implementation of the Welsh Government funded Collaborative Change Programme, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council has gone from a failing authority rated 22nd in Wales to 9th in Wales; achieved by recycling 62 per cent of its municipal waste.

“Changes that were made to the recycling collection services include us going from a co-mingled to a multi stream collection; reducing residual waste capacity and changing the  infrastructure of the council’s recycling depot. We would of course like to offer a sincere thank you to all residents in Merthyr Tydfil who recycle and who have helped to reach these recycling figures.”

The full funding breakdown is as follows:

  • Torfaen - £600,000
  • Gwynedd - £288,108
  • Pembrokeshire CC - £720,730
  • Wrexham - £1,314,533
  • Flintshire - £203,507
  • Merthyr Tydfil - £1,296,527
  • Newport - £393,842
  • Blaenau Gwent - £829,637
  • Conwy - £103,287
  • Powys - £1,511,852
  • Ynys Mon - £251,290
  • Neath Port Talbot - £13,287

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