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Caerphilly considers steps towards a greener future
Caerphilly Council in Wales is exploring ways to boost recycling rates and create a greener county borough for all, as part of an ambitious waste and recycling strategy for the future.
Local authorities are required to meet strict Welsh Government recycling targets and Caerphilly is working hard to ensure it reaches the current target of 70%, as well as even higher rates announced for the coming years.
"We need to be bold and ambitious in our revised approach to improve current recycling performance as we are not meeting the 70% rate,” explains leader of council, Cllr. Sean Morgan. “We all need to do more to lead cleaner, greener lifestyles and it is clear that recycling is a key element in this collective effort. We have a moral obligation to our children and grandchildren to do what is necessary so that future generations can enjoy a sustainable planet.
"I appreciate that many residents are already working with us every week to recycle as much as possible, but more needs to be done, it is not an option for us to do nothing. We need to target those who are not currently recycling via engagement, education and enforcement where appropriate, as well as looking at our operational processes.
“A new strategy is currently being prepared which will clearly set out our plans for the coming years and I would urge the whole community to work with us to get our recycling levels to where they need to be."
A special committee meeting took place this week where councillors discussed the draft strategy entitled 'to 70% and Beyond 2023 - 2028'.
The draft document focuses on 3 key outcomes:
* Ensure residents use the correct recycling receptacles. Too much food and other recyclable material is being placed in general waste bins.
* Ensure the material collected is of a higher quality and a valuable resource.
* Improving the performance, facilities and overall resident experience at household waste recycling centres (HWRCs).
The draft strategy is written against the context of ongoing conversations the council has held with residents through its engagement programme 'The Caerphilly Conversation' where 93% of respondents agreed that waste collection and recycling services should continue to be a priority when planning council services and budgets for 2022/23 and beyond.
Cllr. Chris Morgan, Cabinet Member for Waste, Leisure and Green Spaces, says: "I am proud of the way our residents embraced recycling over the past 20 years and at one time we were one of the best, and our method of collection remains popular compared to other authorities. We can be the best again, the changes proposed to our residual collections will increase recycling and remove the threat of having to change from our current co-mingled collection system.
"We have challenging national recycling targets set by Welsh Government, and the wider climate change and decarbonisation agendas, set by both UK and Welsh Governments. Furthermore, as a council we have declared our own climate emergency.
"The proposals in the draft strategy are designed to increase participation by changing service operations. We want to work proactively with residents to ensure we are doing all that we can to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle in an effort to protect our environment now and in the future."
Over the coming weeks Cabinet will be asked to agree on the 5th of April to go out to public consultation. If agreed, the consultation will begin on 6th April 2023 until 19th May 2023. The consultation will be published on the council's website in addition to printed copies in all libraries across the county borough and a series of informal face-to-face drop-in sessions.
23rd March 2023