Just days after Wales was, once again, confirmed as the UK’s best recycling nation, Minister for Environment Hannah Blythyn has underlined the Welsh Government’s ambition to become a “zero waste” nation by approving over £7.5m to help local authorities continue to improve recycling services.
Last Thursday’s UK statistical release revealed Wales extended its lead as best municipal recycling nation in the UK, to 12% above the UK average.
To ensure the momentum is maintained and enhanced, the Minister has today (27 February) confirmed she is awarding over £7.5m, to support local authority improvements in recycling services in 2017/18. The funding will be administered under the highly successful Collaborative Change Programme (CCP).
Hannah Blythyn AM – “Our recycling achievements have been massively boosted through improvements and expertise provided by Welsh Government funding. This is why I am approving over £7.5m for this year towards the Collaborative Change Programme”
The CCP provides specialist support to local authorities by awarding capital grants where councils want to change services to improve overall performance and to align services better with Welsh Government policies.
The money is used to make improvements to the collection and sorting of recycling which help councils reach recycling targets and help Wales reach its goal of becoming what it calls a “zero waste” nation.
The Minister confirmed the funding after visiting Merthyr Tydfil CBC’s recycling depot in Pentrebach. Merthyr has been awarded nearly £1.3m in 2017/18 with which it intends to invest in specialist machinery and equipment including a recycling baler and trolley boxes.
Hannah Blythyn said: “Wales’ recycling success is a real devolution success story. In the 20 years since Wales said yes, our recycling rate has increased from just over 5% to 64% – the third best in the world. Only last week it was officially confirmed Wales has increased its lead over the rest of the UK.
“This is excellent news but I know there is still plenty of room for more. Our recycling achievements have been massively boosted through improvements and expertise provided by Welsh Government funding. This is why I am approving over £7.5m for this year towards the Collaborative Change Programme. This funding will enable local authorities to adopt practices that lead to further improvements and help us achieve our ambitious targets”.
Leader of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Councillor Kevin O’Neill said: “Since the implementation of the Welsh Government funded Collaborative Change Programme, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council has gone from a failing authority rated 22nd in Wales to 9th in Wales; achieved by recycling 62% of its municipal waste.
“Changes that were made to the recycling collection services include us going from a co-mingled to a multi stream collection; reducing residual waste capacity and changing the infrastructure of the Council’s recycling depot. We would of course like to offer a sincere thank you to all residents in Merthyr Tydfil who recycle and who have helped to reach these recycling figures.”