Calls for clarity on what can and cannot be recycled in Powys

Calls have been made to tell people what rubbish can and cannot be recycled as a council strives to hit future targets.

The issue of recycling targets in Powys has been discussed by councillors
The issue of recycling targets in Powys has been discussed by councillors

With the expectation that Powys County Council will need to hit a 70 per cent recycling rate by 2024/2025, residents will need to put more rubbish at the kerbside for recycling and less in the black wheelie bin, according to the authority.

At a meeting of the Economy, Residents, and Communities Scrutiny Committee, councillors discussed the current recycling performance in the county.

Councillor Kelvyn Curry said: “When was the last Powys-wide education initiative to heighten people’s information?”

He asked if it was time for another campaign on the issue.

Environment portfolio holder Councillor Heulwen Hulme said: “We had every intention in March last year of doing some recycling roadshows, it is still our intention, but it has been delayed.”

She pointed out that due to the pandemic some staff had been re-deployed to different parts of the council.

Councillor Kath Roberts-Jones said: “Not everyone can get or goes to roadshows I’m afraid.

“There’s a difficulty for people not knowing what can and can’t be put in, letters could be delivered as the collections are made.”

Senior waste and recycling manager, Ashley Collins said: “We do a lot of communications on awareness and enforcement, we have a big Facebook and Twitter presence.”

Councillor Roberts-Jones pointed out that not everyone uses social media.

Mr Collins said: “I appreciate not everyone sees the information.

“We will be re-doing some of our routes soon and when we do the publicity on that we well emphasise the materials we collect.

“It is an ongoing thing.”

Mr Collins added that an “awful lot” of material that should be recycled still gets put in the black bin.

Mr Collins said “This is what we have to target, and why are very strict when people ask for an extra bin.

“We have to take a stern approach; we’ll often go there and find they are not recycling anywhere near enough.”

He also said that the red box used to recycle plastic, tins and cans is sometimes affected by “cross contamination of waste” and offending households find their waste not picked up with a leaflet explaining why.

Mr Collins added that the council is also looking to “divert as much as we can” to energy from waste recovery facilities – known as incinerators.

According to Mr Collins the ash left at the end of the incineration process can also be recycled.

For 2019/20 the council reported a 63 per-cent statutory recycling rate and claimed due to a reporting error it should have been was 64 per-cent.

For 2020/21 the Powys figures is 65 per cent which needs to be confirmed by Natural Resources Wales.

The figure for 2021/22 up to July is 67.80 per-cent.

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