The Welsh Government says this is essential for reaching its recycling targets
According to new figures announced by the Welsh Government, one quarter of black bag waste in Wales is still made up of food, whilst another quarter is possibly made up of recyclable material.
The Welsh Government says that these findings could be the key as to whether the country reaches its recycling targets before time.
It claims that if only half of all the food and recyclable materials placed in black bags across Wales was recycled, the country could reach its sanctioned 2025 recycling target, which is 70%, a staggering nine years earlier.
Registered charity WRAP, have revealed that in Wales, there has been a 14% increase in the amount of residential recyclable materials being recycled but that refuse bins throughout Wales are still being stuffed with numerous items that could be re-used or recycled.
The study also revealed that 17% of electrical waste and electronic equipment and 50% of textiles and clothing, were still being sent to landfill sites, along with food waste and dry recyclable items.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: “It’s great to see people’s recycling habits are significantly improving. However, this research shows there’s still more we can do to meet our aim of being a zero waste nation by 2050.”
Towards Zero Waste: One Wales One Planet – is the Welsh Government’s plan of action when it comes to waste. Its aim is to see Wales become a high recycling nation by 2025 and a zero waste nation by 2050.
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As the global solar panel industry grows, so too will the recycling potential
According to a joint report, end-of-life solar panel recycling could be worth $15 billion by 2050, as experts says the average lifespan of a solar panel is around 30 years.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency’s Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme have published the report claiming that the recycling of used solar panels could prove to be big business in the not so distant future.
Solar panel use is on the rise across the globe, as it offers sustainable and affordable energy solutions for new housing and industrial buildings, as global population levels rise and emerging economies record yet more financial success.
The director general of IRENA, Adnan Amin, said: “Global installed PV capacity reached 222GW at the end of 2015 and is expected to further rise to 4,500 GW by 2050.”
The research as published in the report, suggests that solar panel waste could be as much as 78 million tonnes by 2050. China accounts for a significant percentage of this waste production, at a projected 20 million tonnes of PV panel waste.
Recycled materials and components from waste solar panels can be used for the manufacturing of new panels or sold into the global resource material industry. The report is confidant that the solar panel industry will benefit significantly from the recycling of end-of-life panels, as a circular economy will result in a self-sufficient sector.
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‘Resourcing the Future’ conference held to debate the EU referendum and how leaving could affect the industry
Debate was raging at the final meeting for the ‘Resourcing the Future’ conference held in London last week, as waste bosses discussed Britain’s future in the European Union in relation to the waste industry.
Arguing to remain in the EU, Suez UK chief executive and president of the European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services, David Palmer-Jones asked the conference attendees: “What has the EU ever done for us?”
He then mentioned a number of waste improvements, including Britain’s 44 per cent recycling rate and the creation of landfill tax revenue, which have apparently been achieved solely because of Britain’s EU membership.
Mr Palmer-Jones finished off his argument by answering his initial question: “In terms of what the EU has done for us, it’s absolutely everything.”
However, on behalf of the leave argument, Neil Grundon, deputy chairman at Grundon Waste Management, took to the stage to claim that the UK was a leading nation in environmental matters.
He said: “I really don’t think that we are going to be any less of a force in our environmental conscience and our environmental pressure on the world as an independent nation.”
Mr Grundon used Britain’s excellent health and safety in the workplace record as an example of how Britain does not need the EU to be a world leader.
Angus Evers, from the UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA), had his time to discuss legal procedures for the waste industry following a remain or leave vote, saying that a remain would be “business as usual”, but a leave would involve “massive uncertainty” which could affect investment.
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The recycling project is designed to educate and encourage children to recycle
An electrical and electronic waste company based in Lancashire has initiated a recycling project amongst primary school children across the country, as they work together to author a WEEE recycling manual designed to educate young people on the importance of recycling their electronics.
The handbook, titled ‘Responsible Recycling’, has been passed from primary school to primary school across the UK and follows the adventures of R3PIC, a robot made up of recycled electronics, and the mascot of REPIC Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, the Bury-based company behind the project.
Year 3 and 4 pupils from each school have the opportunity to write a chapter each, detailing the imaginative recycling adventures of R3PIC. The story is now being completed by pupils in Bradford and Solihull before it goes off to be produced into an illustrated edition later this year.
As part of the ‘Responsible Recycling’ project, Bury Council’s recycling awareness officer, Talat Afzal, visited the schools involved to speak to the children about recycling and how it is an essential process to help save our environment.
WEEE waste firm, REPIC, launched the project in an effort to educate young people as they are now surrounded by an increasing amount of electronic equipment and gadgets.
Dr Philip Morton, chief executive of REPIC, told BuryTimes.co.uk: “The main aim of the campaign is to educate children on recycling issues from a young age. Children are the ambassadors of the future for recycling and are key in spreading the message to parents and carers.”
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The BIR is to launch a World Council of Recycling Associations to support the recycling industry
On May 31, the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) announced plans to launch a ‘world recycling council’ initiative, which would consist of the heads of worldwide recycling organisations and associations.
The BIR World Council of Recycling Associations would bring together world recycling leaders and experts to create an association which would work ‘to tackle the challenges facing the global trade of recyclables’ by promoting ‘free and fair trade of recyclables with minimum regulatory controls’.
The BIR, based in Brussels, was founded in 1948. It works to support companies and associations involved in the global recycling and waste material industry.
Currently, the BIR has almost 800 member companies worldwide from the business sector and national sector, which trade internationally in recycled metals, paper, plastics and textiles.
Ranjit Baxi, the president at BIR, compared the proposed World Council of Recycling Associations to a “United Nations of recycling”. He hopes the new council will attract yet more companies and associations to BIR from more countries.
Currently, BIR member companies represent 70 countries across the globe, but Mr Baxi would like to see this increase to ‘80 to 90 of the world’s more than 200 countries’.
During the 2016 World Recycling Convention and Exhibition, which was hosted by BIR between May 30 and June 1 in Berlin, Mr Baxi also said he hoped the bureau’s World Recycling Day ambitions would be realised by 2017, which would help promote the importance of recycling and the recycling industry.
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The Committee has called for changes to be made to the Waste Framework Directive
Changes to the Waste Framework Directive have been recommended by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, which wants to increase the municipal recycling rate to 70% by the year 2030.
This new figure has increased by 5% over last years proposed package figure of 65%.
The Environment Committee is calling for tougher requirements for separate recyclable collections, which concern items that are placed in our blue bins.
Rapporteur MEP Simona Bonafè is responsible for the new proposals. She has also suggested a ban on incinerating waste that is collected separately and has set a recycling target of 65% for organic waste by 2025.
Other final targets have also been suggested by the Environment Committee; 70% by 2025 for packaging recycling, increasing to 80% by 2030. A target of 25% by 2025 has also been proposed for the reduction of landfill.
It is now up to the MEPs to decide whether they will accept the new proposals.
The new changes to the Commission’s original proposals have been welcomed by the Resource Association, who say that they are a crucial and valuable contribution to the discussion.
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East Yorkshire council spending taxpayers’ money on fly-tipping clean up
According to the Pocklington Post, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council has spent more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money cleaning up fly-tipped waste in the last three years.
Since April 2013, the number of fly-tipping incidents have increased year on year; in total the council has recorded a 11 per cent rise in fly-tipping crime in the last three years.
In recent months, East Riding council has witnessed a significant increase in the dumping of building waste on rural land in the district. The areas of South Cave and North and South Newbald have been particularly affected by this type of crime, which can carry a fine of up to £50,000 and imprisonment of up to 12 months.
According to council figures, there were 2,817 fly-tipping incidents recorded between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 in East Yorkshire, costing the council £350,000 in clear up costs. The following year, there were 2,903 incidents, costing approximately £340,000.
Last year, between April 1, 2015 to March 31, fly-tipping offences reached 3,126. East Riding council has used £350,000 of taxpayers’ money to clean up after unscrupulous residents and traders.
A spokesperson from East Riding of Yorkshire Council warned potential fly-tippers that any instances of illegally disposed of waste will be thoroughly investigated by council officers.
The spokesperson added: “It is vital that householders understand that, to operate legally, firms that remove waste have to be registered with the Environment Agency as licensed waste carriers. If fly-tipped items can be traced back to their owner, they could face a fine of up to £5,000.”
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Five Clyde Valley councils partner with Viridor to redirect landfill waste for recycling
Five Scottish councils have signed a waste recovery contract worth £700 million with waste management firm Viridor, which will collect and recycle the districts’ municipal waste that was previously destined for landfill.
The contract will run for 25 years and is to begin on December 1, 2019. The councils in North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire and North Ayrshire are all part of the new deal, which was negotiated for and signed by head council authority in the Clyde Valley, North Lanarkshire.
Viridor will be responsible for collecting municipal waste from the partner districts; the waste will then be taken for recycling at Viridor’s plant in Bargeddie, North Lanarkshire. Any surplus waste that is not suitable for recycling will be sent to Viridor’s waste to energy facility, which is to be built in Dunbar, East Lothian.
North Lanarkshire council expects 190,000 tonnes of waste to be collected for recycling, which was previously going to landfill sites, costing the local authorities landfill tax and damaging the environment. According to Viridor director, Paul Ringham, the firm hopes to redirect 90 per cent of the partner councils’ waste from landfill sites.
The partnership between the Scottish councils is the first to come about since Sir John Arbuthnott, former chairman of the Greater Glasgow Health Board, suggested in a 2009 review that Clyde Valley councils could benefit financially from working together.
Council leader for North Lanarkshire, Jim Logue, said: “This is an important contract in terms of the scale of waste processing and environmental benefits. By working in partnership, we are delivering improved services for residents, best value for taxpayers, creating new jobs and recycling more waste which would otherwise go to landfill.”
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Residents in Cardiff city notice an increase in fly-tipping following council waste changes
Residents from multiple Cardiff city districts have spoken out about their anger towards the council as waste collection service changes seem to have led to an increase in the amount of fly-tipped waste being dumped on the city streets.
Homeowners in Penylan and Splott are blaming Cardiff City Council for the apparent increase in fly-tipping incidents which are being perpetrated in these two districts and in others around the city.
In July last year, the council introduced a new waste collection system to improve recycling rates. The old 240 litre black wheelie bins, which were previously held by residents, were replaced at a cost of around £2 million by Cardiff City Council with a new 140 litre black bin and a 240 litre green waste bin.
Residents across the affected areas claim that the new 140 litre bins are not large enough for most households and that this is one of the main causes for the increase in fly-tipping.
Homeowners claim that bags of waste and random items of trash are being dumped in city streets and lanes and are creating an “eyesore, obstruction and a health hazard”.
Ian Layzell, from Keep Our Neighbourhood Bin Free, said that the council does eventually collect the fly-tipped waste, but in some instances, it can be sat in the streets for weeks.
Despite the complaints from Cardiff residents, Cabinet member Bob Derbyshire from Cardiff City Council said that the new waste collection service has been successful and the council has seen a rise in the amount of waste being sent for recycling instead of to landfill.
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The service will cost £40 a year for residents who sign up
Almost 2,000 residents have already signed up to a new garden waste recycling service that started in early April.
The new optional service has been organised by Calderdale Council and will work with waste contractor SUEZ. The scheme allows residents requiring their garden waste to be collected from home to opt-in to the new scheme.
Brand new bins, along with a leaflet covering the collection dates for the rest of the year, are being delivered and the first bin collections started on Saturday, April 9.
Mark Thompson, the Council’s director of economy and environment, said: “This is the first step in a number of improvements to our waste and recycling services this year… Calderdale is already in the top 10 for recycling rates in England, but we want to help people recycle even more.”
The new service will cost residents £40 a year and includes a green wheelie bin and Saturday collections, every fortnight, from March to November.
For residents wishing to share the cost with neighbours or friends, a subscription service is available. They must register their subscription and arrange for collection from one household only.
Most familiar garden waste products are suitable for collection, such as hedge trimmings, grass cuttings and leaves but soil, rubble, plant pots and garden equipment are not acceptable.
A sack collection will be available for properties that are not suitable for a wheelie bin.
Other areas in the country have also introduced the new garden waste collection service, including Birmingham City Council, where residents pay an annual £33 fee for the fortnightly service if they sign up online.
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