Page last updated at 09:53 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 10:53 UK

Councils meet landfill targets

A landfill site (library)
The amount of waste sent to landfill has reduced by 20% in three years

All 22 councils in Wales have met targets on the amount of biodegradable waste they can send to landfill sites, new figures have shown.

The Landfill Allowances Scheme (LAS) limits the amount of waste like garden cuttings, paper, cardboard and kitchen scraps councils can send to landfill.

But councils have been warned the targets will be getting tougher and they will need to "step up" action.

South west Wales councils reached their targets with most room to spare.

North Wales councils were closest to the limits of their allowances.

The limit is aimed to forcing councils to recycle, compost and treat biodegradable waste to reduce the effects of greenhouse gases.

The Environment Agency Wales figures show that councils sent 680,912 tonnes of biodegradable waste to landfill compared to the 2007/8 allowance allocation of 866,000 tonnes.

This means it is already below the 710,000 tonne allowance allocation set for the 2009/10 year, the first year the councils must report to the EU.

Any local authorities who exceed their targets in this year will incur financial penalties.

Blaenau Gwent - 81.3%
Bridgend - 69.7%
Caerphilly - 80.6%
Cardiff - 83.4%
Carmarthenshire - 93.7%
Ceredigion - 96.2%
Conwy - 68.6%
Denbighshire - 88.5%
Flintshire - 83.1%
Gwynedd - 89.6%
Isle of Anglesey - 78.1%
Merthyr Tydfil - 84%
Monmouthshire - 75%
Neath Port Talbot - 57.1%
Newport - 73.6%
Pembrokeshire - 90.1%
Powys - 84.4%
Rhondda Cynon Taff - 77.4%
Swansea - 68.7%
Torfaen - 72.3%
Vale of Glamorgan - 84.3%
Wrexham - 76.4%
Percentage of landfill allowance used per local authority. Source: Environment Agency Wales

Over the last three years, Wales has reduced the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill by 20% which is a reduction of 170,577 tonnes compared to the amount landfilled in 2005/6.

Sustainability Minister Jane Davidson said it was the fourth successive year that local authorities had met its LAS targets.

"These figures show clearly that nationally Wales is ahead of the target set for diverting biodegradable municipal waste from landfill, which in addition to reducing the amount of rubbish that goes into landfill also helps in the battle against climate change," she said.

"As a nation we need to reduce the amount of waste that we send to landfill as this is the least sustainable method of managing our waste.

"We need a concerted effort by everyone, both householders and businesses to achieve more recycling and less landfill."

She now wants councils to look at ways of recycling food waste in order to meet the next EU target set for 2013.

Earlier this year, councils were given an extra 15m in recycling grants which they were strongly advised to use to prepare for the separate collection and treatment of food waste.

Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Merthyr, Carmarthenshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend and Swansea have already started to introduce food waste collection service.

Cardiff, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Conwy, Wrexham, and Blaenau Gwent are planning to start collections later this year or early next year.

Council opposes new landfill plan
11 Aug 08 |  North East Wales

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