Resource Use

Wales allocates £2.3 million to recycling activities


Four Welsh councils have been given a total of £2.3 million of funding from the Welsh Government to help boost their recycling levels.

Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies, announced yesterday (10 December) that the Welsh Government was to give a total of £2.3 million of capital funding to Powys County Council, Newport City Council, Bridgend County Borough Council, and Swansea City Council to ‘support recycling activities’.

The money will be split as such:

  • Powys County Council will receive £1.19 million for the acquisition and development of depots and bulking facilities to support its kerbside recycling service;
  • Newport City Council will receive £967,000 for the purchase of: land to extend a recycling facility, bins to store residual waste, and recycling boxes and food caddies;
  • Bridgend County Borough Council will see £66,500 for ‘capital works’ on a civic amenity site; and
  • Swansea City Council will receive £152,978 for an automatic number plate recognition system to ‘better control the use of its household waste recycling centres’.

Funding instead of fines

The capital funding has been awarded as part of the Collaborative Change Programme (launched in 2011), which provides advice and support to help local authorities to achieve future recycling targets.  

According to the Welsh Government, since the programme's inception, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has liaised with each individual local authority that is part of the programme and built up a list of potential projects that might require funding.

The Collaborative Change Programme Steering Group (which comprises the Welsh Government, the Welsh Local Government Association and WRAP) then 'prioritised and considered' all projects before chosing the four councils as successful applicants.

There are reportedly plans to award other councils with similar funding in the future.

It follows on from the news that although three of these councils (Powys, Newport and Swansea) missed the country’s first statutory recycling target of recycling 52 per cent of waste in 2012, they would have their punitive fines 'waived'.

Speaking earlier this year, Davies said: "I am very conscious of the challenges local authorities face, so this year I have made the decision to waive fines for those authorities that have not met the targets. I expect those councils that missed the target to participate fully in the Collaborative Change Programme and the Welsh Government will work constructively with councils to support their efforts.

“I appreciate that some of the councils that have not met their targets have nevertheless made really good progress. Powys, for example, has increased its recycling by nine percentage points on the previous year and it is this sort of progress that the Collaborative Change Programme can help councils to achieve.”  

Bridgend County Borough Council recycled 58 per cent of its waste in the 12 months to December 2012.

Announcing the allocation of the new funding, Davies said: “This funding will support projects that help local authorities to meet our recycling targets as we work towards a zero waste future for Wales.  

“Thanks to the efforts of Welsh householders and local authorities, we are now recycling over half of our municipal waste. This investment is designed to support local authorities as they continue to make improvements.”  

Read more about the Collaborative Change Programme or Wales’s recycling rates.