west*wales*news*review

West Wales News Review — analysis with a sustainability slant

Archive for the category “Recycling”

Rubbishing Alternative Facts

Announcing the closure of the Llangadog recycling centre, operated by All Waste Services, Carmarthenshire County Council’s busy press office stated “Alternative arrangements are being made to provide recycling banks for residents at Llandovery Rugby Club”.

Not alternative at all, according to the rugby club, which has issued a sternly worded statement as follows:

“When CCC [Carmarthenshire County Council] approached the Rugby Club seeking an additional location for recycling skips in the Llandovery area the Club’s Directors asked whether it had anything to do with the future of the service available in Llangadog and we were assured by CCC officers that there was a need for additional facilities in Llandovery and the approach had nothing to do with the facility in Llangadog.

“The Club was willing to accommodate the request as it meant additional facilities for Llandovery and surrounding area.

“The Club was not aware that the Llangadog facility was closing until a press release was issued by CCC. We were not consulted on the wording of the press release issued by CCC which can be interpreted as implying that the new unit at the Rugby Club replaces the Llangadog facility.”

Llandovery Rugby Club’s statement also makes clear that cans, glass and paper will be the only materials recycled there, and urges the county council to “identify, at the earliest opportunity, adequate recycling facilities for the communities around Llandovery”.

The council’s unfortunate press release highlights the dangers of reporting to cast the best possible light upon events.

In this case, the rugby club saw not illumination but a mirage.

Alternative facts? A less polite term may come to mind.

 

Llangadog’s Recycling Centre to Close

Valued public service lost

Yet another blow for the people of north-east Carmarthenshire—Llangadog’s recycling centre is closing on March 31st

The centre, run by All Waste Services, achieved very high recycling rates, between 80% and 85% in 2014, when the county average was 55%. This was above the all-Wales target of 70% by 2025. When operating at its peak the centre provided some 10 jobs for local people. Opening hours were long and there seemed to be a bin for all types of waste, except for potentially hazardous items like asbestos roofing sheets.

Hefin Roberts, head of All Waste Services, said in 2016 that the operating budget was halved in 2013-14, and prices for recycled materials also dived, making it impossible for the centre to break even. He had been subsidising it personally, he said.

Discussions between All Waste Services and the county council have failed to reach an agreement, and on March 10th the council’s press office issued a statement saying from April 1st residents should take black bag and garden waste, electrical items, wood and other bulky items to the Wernddu site near Ammanford.

Wernddu is a dozen miles south west of Llangadog, which itself is 20 or so miles from the outer reaches of its catchment area.

The county council says it hopes to have some recycling bins at Llandovery Rugby Club by April 1st, but these would not accept many of the materials which have been deposited at Llangadog.

Maria Carroll, Labour’s candidate for Cilycwm in county council elections on May 4th, who takes a close interest in recycling services, said:

“It has always been the view of local people, who are dependent on this service, that a long term commitment to the provision of a Recycling Centre in north Carmarthenshire is needed. This did not happen and the [Llangadog] Centre has been subjected to a roller coaster ride of uncertainty and threat of closure. It seems we now find ourselves once more in the position that our Centre, which provides a highly regarded public service, is at risk of closure with little notice and with no public consultation.”

Closure means that fly tipping is likely to increase, with damaging impact on the environment and potentially on the important tourism industry. The loss of jobs is also troubling.

Demonstration at Llangadog’s recycling centre when it faced closure in 2014. Public pressure helped to keep it open, but now in 2017 the gates are likely to close for a final time in less than three weeks.  

Mass Protest on Wild Wet Friday against Closure of Llangadog Recycling Centre

When a crowd of over seventy people protest in the open on a soaking, windy Friday afternoon you know the issue is serious. The issue is Carmarthenshire County Council’s intention to end its contract with the recycling centre run by All Waste Services (AWS) at Llangadog. As well as giving a public service, the recycling centre provides about 10 local jobs.

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Section of the protest to support the AWS recycling centre at Llangadog, during the stormy afternoon of February 14th

The council claims it cannot afford to renew the contract, which is for the Llangadog site to provide a centre where residents can bring almost all types of rubbish. Between 80% and 85% of that rubbish is recycled, but in contrast, the average recycling rate in Carmarthenshire is only about 53%.

The Llangadog centre is the most efficient in the county, and the only one not operated by CWM Environmental, a company which the county council owns.  Closure would force residents to make round trips 25 to 40 miles longer, if they opted for the nearest sites near Ammanford or at Nantycaws, Carmarthen.

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Three placards say it all!

The protest, attended by children from Llangadog School, parents, environmentalists and others who regard recycling as an essential public service, was accompanied by three police officers.

Llangadog’s county councillor Andrew James told the demonstration that the centre served 20,000 people, and that closure was opposed by many including the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. Fly tipping would result, with consequential damage to wildlife and the environment, he said.

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Four with one message: Hefin Roberts, owner of AWS, thanks the demonstrators. Councillor Andrew James is behind, organiser Theresa Haine is in the yellow jacket, and Llangadog’s vicar, Rev. Michael Cottam, is left of picture

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Children from Llangadog School are keen to show that recycling is an important issue for them

Theresa Haine, who with Christiana Heidler organised the protest, and who was recently honoured by the Madagascan government for her charity work, said to general approval that cutting just one senior officer post at the county council would make a big contribution to keeping the centre open.

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