Merthyr Tydfil awarded £2m to improve recycling

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council has been allocated £2 million of funding from the Welsh Government to improve its recycling services.

Natural Resources Minister John Griffiths announced yesterday (11 August) that half of this year’s funding allocation for the Collaborative Change Programme – which supports councils to make improvements to their recycling services – was going to the council in South Wales.

The funding will reportedly be used to help the council invest in new collection vehicles, containers, depots and equipment to move from a co-mingled recycling service to a kerbside sort system.

It is thought that by moving to this system in ‘early 2015’, as advocated in the Welsh Collections Blueprint, the council will be complying with the Waste Regulations’ requirement of having in place separate collections of metal, plastic, glass and paper by 2015, and could increase its recycling rate (currently around 45 per cent) and save money.

Indeed, a report presented to the Cabinet in February of this year identified that reducing residual waste capacity from 240 to 140 litres, making garden collections fortnightly and switching from a weekly co-mingled recycling system to a ‘multi-stream’ recycling system could save the council £1.05 million by 2016/17.

Separate recycling means 'less contamination'

Griffiths said: “The Collaborative Change Programme provides specialist advice and support to help local authorities to achieve their recycling targets. It supports them to invest in more efficient services within their financial means.
“Merthyr Council is ambitious to improve its recycling rates and I know it will work closely with residents to achieve this.
“By separating recycling, there will be less contamination, which means that the materials can fetch a higher price for the council. I hope this means that more materials will stay in Wales for use by Welsh companies, helping Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council to avoid landfill taxes, increase their recycling rates and support recycling markets in Wales.”
Councillor, Brendan Toomey, the Leader of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council commented: “This £2 million investment package received from Welsh Government is fantastic news for Merthyr Tydfil. This additional funding will assist the local authority in being able to provide a more efficient and effective recycling service for our residents. In addition to this, the Collaborative Change Programme will also be able to provide more support to residents and businesses on how they can reduce their waste and improve the way they recycle.”

Toomey added that the council not only hoped to achieve Wales’s 58 per cent recycling by 2015/16, but also wants to be ‘the best in Wales’. He added: “[W]ith the introduction of this new recycling system and the support of our residents and local businesses, I am sure we can achieve this.”

Residents will be informed of the service changes ‘in the coming months’.

Find out more about the Collaborative Change Programme or recycling in Merthyr Tydfil.