Headlines: August 7th, 2006



Local authorities in Wales will share 32 million pounds in funding this year to help them achieve tough targets for recycling and composting set by the Welsh Assmebly Government. This will be the sixth year that the councils have been supported through sustainable waste management grants to lessen their reliance on landfill sites for waste disposal.

The grants are designed to help pay for a variety of initiatives such as encouraging the reuse of furniture, recycling various materials and composting. Figures now available for 2004-05 show Welsh local authorities used the grant to recycle and compost 19.4 per cent of waste. The Assembly Government’s target is for 25 per cent recycling and composting in the current financial year and for 40 per cent by 2010.

Each council will receive a sustainable waste management grant allocation according to its spending needs based on the Standard Spending Assessment. They will be expected to provide the Assembly with details of how they plan to spend the money.

Welsh Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside, Carwyn Jones, has also announced the grant for 2007-08 and 2008-09 is likely to be 35 million pounds each year. In addition local authorities can make use of a Regional Capital Access Fund of 7 million pounds next year and 9 million the following year to encourage investing jointly in new waste facilities at a regional and sub-regional level.

Mr. Jones said, “We need to live within the limits that global resources can support. On average, every Welsh resident consumes almost 21 tonnes of materials and products every year. The Welsh Assembly Government wants recycling, reusing and composting to become part of everyday life and as such we are providing the funds for local authorities to make it possible.”

In England the Local Government Association, which has published its own plans for reform of the system of waste collection and distribution, has welcomed Tesco’s decision to reduce the number of plastic bags it gives out but it has called on all supermarkets cut down on unnecessary packaging.