Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 11:14 UK

Royal Welsh recycling criticised

Recycling
Up to 40% of people in Wales recycle their waste

A major recycling scheme says it is "hugely disappointed" with the Royal Welsh Show after it emerged most of the event's rubbish is not being recycled.

More than 20 tonnes of recycled waste was collected by the assembly government funded scheme from 2006-08.

But funding for the Wales Event Recycling Project ceased this year.

The Royal Welsh said its recycling policy was not running "very efficiently," and people had put the "wrong waste in the wrong bins".

The Welsh Assembly Government project began in July 2006 to help major shows and festivals cope with waste issues.

Last year the Royal Welsh had recycling bins at 10 locations, including catering and picnic areas as well as individual sets of bins around the show rings.

There were collections from trade and catering stands of glass, cans, plastic bottles, cardboard, food waste and packaging.

The scheme also covered caravan sites for plastic bottles, plastic bags and paper.

For the last three years the Welsh Assembly Government worked with the Royal Welsh Show over its recycling, but that's been completely removed
Ruth Llewellyn, recycling project officer

Project officer Ruth Llewellyn said: "We funded the recycling project at the show for three years, but the show knew they would have to fund recycling themselves this year.

"They said they were not prepared to fund it this year. It's been a frustrating 10 months waiting to hear what they were going to do.

"We are hugely disappointed. For the last three years the Welsh Assembly Government worked with the Royal Welsh Show over its recycling, but that's been completely removed."

Ms Llewellyn said in 2006 four tonnes of waste was collected at the show, rising to seven tonnes in 2007 and reaching 11 tonnes last year, which she described as a "huge achievement".

Hadyn Jones of show organisers the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society said the event had a recycling policy, but it was not running "very efficiently".

'Too much contamination'

He added: "We have been running it for a couple of years in conjunction with the Welsh Assembly Government, but there has been far too much contamination with people putting the wrong waste in the wrong bins.

"It doesn't matter if you have coloured bins or put posters up, show visitors seem to deposit the waste in the wrong bins.

"This means the policy hasn't been very effective and the contamination of the waste means we've normally had to send it all to landfill."

But Ms Llewellyn disputed this and said people at the show responded well to the recycling scheme and clearly understood it.

Mr Jones said: "I think the time has come as a society for us to look invest in a waste incinerator. It's something we need to look at.

"People have questioned our recycling policy, but we need constructive ideas to help us deal with this."

About 25% of all the show's waste will be recycled this year by its refuse contractor.

Keep Wales Tidy chief executive Tegryn Jones said: "It's a poor excuse to say people didn't understand the recycling scheme.

"Most people recycle now and are used to it. I'm disappointed."

Since the start of the assembly government scheme more than 40 events across Wales have received help, including the Royal Welsh and the Urdd, National and International Eisteddfods.



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