Welsh Government
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Wales on target to reduce landfill waste

Figures announced today reveal that every local authority in Wales has met strict limits, set by the Assembly Government, on the amount of biodegradable waste it can send to landfill sites. Wales, as a whole is also currently within its 2009/10 target set by Europe.

The Landfill Allowances Scheme (LAS) limits the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (such as paper, cardboard, kitchen scraps and garden cuttings) councils are allowed to send to landfill, instead encouraging the recycling, composting and treatment of this waste. This reduces the negative environmental effects of landfilled waste, including carbon emissions produced by these sites.

Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing Jane Davidson said:

I am delighted that for the fourth successive year each Welsh local authority has exceeded its LAS targets.

I would like to congratulate every Local Authority for its hard work and commitment and for their continued success in working towards this target.

These figures show clearly that nationally Wales is ahead of the target set for diverting biodegradable municipal waste from landfill which in addition to reducing the amount of rubbish that goes into landfill also helps in the battle against climate change.

Ms Davidson continued:

As a nation we need to reduce the amount of waste that we send to landfill as this is the least sustainable method of managing our waste.

We need concerted effort by everyone, both householders and businesses to achieve more recycling and less landfill.

She said Local Authorities in Wales now need to look at ways of recycling food waste.

Food waste is an area of great potential and exploiting this will be essential if we are to continue increasing the amount of waste we recycle and divert from landfill.

Earlier this year, Local Authorities were given an extra £15 million in recycling grants which they were strongly advised to use to prepare for the separate collection and treatment of food waste.

Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Merthyr, Carmarthenshire, RCT, Bridgend and Swansea have already started to introduce food waste collection service.

Cardiff, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Conwy, Wrexham, and Blaenau Gwent are planning to start collections later this year or early next year.

2009/2010 is the first Landfill Directive Target year when Wales will need to report to the EU on its LAS performance. Any Local Authorities who exceed their targets will incur severe financial penalties.

Environment Agency Wales has produced the report in its role as monitoring authority for the Landfill Allowances Scheme. A full copy is available from its website.

Chris Mills, Director of Environment Agency Wales, said:

These results show the great progress that the public and Local Authorities have made in reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfill. This will have a real impact towards reducing the amount of greenhouse gases that landfill sites produce.

But we need to build on this. The targets that Local Authorities have to meet are getting tighter each year. The more we can reduce and recycle waste from homes and businesses, the better. In the long run it will be cheaper, greener and will hopefully mean we see less landfill sites in Wales.

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