Archive for June, 2014

Is Recycling in Wales a load of Rubbish ?


Wales sees higher recycling targets than the rest of the UK and Northern Ireland at 58%. However in years to come we the public are expected to reduce waste even more due to Welsh Government placing more and more pressure on local governments. There are many issues that are faced by the public as across Wales there are 22 local recycling schemes all of which differ from each other. Question being, is it a load of rubbish? Does it work? Does it penalise people where they cant do any more or see it as a chore to get it right?

Welsh local authorities have mostly introduced a fortnightly collection on refuse waste (landfill) and some are even contemplating a three week collection in attempt to avoid fines for land filling rubbish. Swansea sees a three-bag limit, but no actual physical bin. One must question the sanitation issues that arise i.e. rats and other animals who would strive off such waste. The aim of this reduction is to avoid hefty fines as what will be instigated in the next few years, as a way to make sure councils are doing their part in reducing waste. Though are reduced collections necessary the right answer? I personally believe fortnightly is the max limit as long as other factors are in place i.e bins to place bags in to avoid rats.

The fact that there is 22 local schemes causes an issue to locals, more needs to be done to further a more universal system whether regionally or even nationally. Another huge issue is what can be recycled, many items are not recyclable more needs to be done to ensure that manufactures look to recycle unwanted products from their consumers but also have legislation looking at things that could be made by items that can be recycled. I’m speaking specifically about food products, the mass amount of packaging that goes with food products. To say food is the only one seeing issues, one only has to look at toiletries, toothpaste tube comes in boxes, which in effect is causing excessive waste, even when the cardboard is recyclable why was it used in the first place?

The main issue is locals up and down Wales are being penalised, when in a lot of cases they cannot really be blamed for the confusing systems in action across the country. They cannot be fully blamed for the items they purchase, so it is of my belief that legislation needs to be brought forward, allowing Wales to set the trend in the UK and even potentially have influence the rest of the UK’s ability to recycle. Legislation needs to address both materials products are packaged in, but also address excess packaging on items in the Welsh area. Lets face it Wales has already led the way on plastic carrier bags seeing a huge reduction, benefiting the environment and communities and their through the money raised from the “tax”. Lets see a tax in addressing excessive packaging and none recyclable materials, hopefully this will see consumers applying pressure on business  to change.

The public are already on mass doing what they can, given the circumstances, now its time for local and national (Welsh) government to be bolder in their approach in tackling the issue from another angle. In doing so they need to work better with local authorities in order to make it as easy and effortless for the populace of Wales. A universal recycle list should be initiated to stop confusion amongst local authorities. Thus all in all everyone’s happy and waste is reduced and all are playing their part in reducing land waste, compared to the failed 22 local authority systems as seen in the current day, with none recycling the same. We could effectively beat Germany and Austria’s record targets of 60% by a landslide.