Monmouthshire County Council’s recycling service continues to produce impressive results with the news that it has achieved the Welsh recycling target for 2025, ten years ahead of schedule. Recycling for the first quarter of 2016 (April to June) was just over 70% (figure to be officially verified).
The county is consistently in the top three authorities for recycling rates in Wales and this is largely due to the cooperation of its residents, though other factors feature too.
Space for landfill is rapidly declining over the country so all of Monmouthshire’s household waste is incinerated at an energy-from-waste plant in Cardiff. Ash from the incinerator is used as road aggregate and ferrous metals are removed by magnets. Both of these materials are included in Monmouthshire’s recycling figures. Heat from the incinerator powers steam turbines, and the electricity generated is fed into the National Grid, producing sufficient electricity to power 50,000 homes. In the longer term, as well as generating electricity, the plant aims to supply heat produced at the site to a local user.
While the recycling figure of 70% for April to June is a huge achievement, it is unlikely that the annual recycling percentage will remain this high because collection of compostable garden waste reduces during the winter. Meanwhile, local residents are asked to continue their excellent recycling routine to maintain high standards in the county, and to ensure that black bags only contain items that are unable to be recycled. Once they are incinerated many potentially recyclable materials can never be recovered.
Councillor Bryan Jones, cabinet member with responsibility for recycling said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have reached a magnificent 70% recycling rate and the main reason for this lies with our residents who play a massive part in ensuring that our record is among the best in Wales. Needless to say, we will not rest on our laurels and we will look at ways to increase recycling further still.”