Food recycling priority for Wales

April 30, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Recycling in Wales has been given a boost by the announcement of an extra £15 million in grants from the Welsh Assembly. Jane Davidson, the assembly’s minister for environment, sustainability and housing, revealed that a total of £50 million would be made available for local authorities to put towards recycling schemes in 2008/09. The grants will be given to those authorities that are working towards separating the different types of household waste to facilitate improvements in recycling in Wales.

Wales currently recycles 33 per cent of its waste, with this announcement setting it on course to achieve its EU target of 40 per cent by 2010. The assembly is considering proposals to target 70 per cent recycling rates by 2025. Davidson commented, “Food recycling is an area of great potential and exploiting this will be essential if we are to continue increasing the amount of waste we recycle and divert from landfill.”

It is particularly important to recycle food waste as it generates large amounts of methane when decomposing, a greenhouse gas identified as one of those responsible for global warming. Once recycled, food waste can be used to provide nutrients for soil.

In tandem with the new grants being made available, local authorities will have to pay greater tax on waste they send to landfill sites. Welsh authorities will pay £32 per tonne of waste sent to the landfill, up from £24 last year.

The authorities of Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Merthyr, Carmarthenshire, RCT, Bridgend and Swansea already have separation schemes in place, with Cardiff, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Conwy, Wrexham and Blaenau Gwent planning to put schemes into effect in the near future.

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