Filed under: Government, Recycling, Renewable Energy, Waste | Tags: anaerobic digestion, combined heat and power, Incineration, Jane Davidson, Methane Gas, Prosiect Gwyrdd, Recycling, Welsh Assembly Government, Zero Waste Wales
Measures to improve how Wales deals with its waste have been proposed to the Welsh Assembly Government.
Environment Minister Jane Davidson wants Wales to adopt more sustainable waste management practices.
She hopes Wales will become a high recycling country by 2025 with aims to reach a Zero Waste country by 2050.
There’ll be targets for local authorities to recycle and compost, with financial penalties if these targets are not met. Certain materials will also be banned from going to landfill, like biodegradable food waste which could be used as biomass fuel. The announcement made by the Assembly also includes plans to start charging for plastic carrier bags in all shops from 2011.
What is ‘Zero Waste’?
Prosiect Gwyrdd is a partnership between, Caerphilly Borough County Council, The County Council of the City and County of Cardiff, Monmouthshire County Council, Newport Council and Vale of Glamorgan Council.
They are looking into the different ways of turning waste into energy, through modern incinerators (also known as combined heat and power), or anaerobic digestion (where the methane gas produced when waste decomposes is captured to be used as fuel).
Recycling as it stands
We are doing quite well when it comes to recycling in South East Wales. For the last quarter the figures are as follows.
Vale of Glamorgan: 41.81%
On average there’s been a 3% rise each year in the amounts recycled since 2001. Its admirable that the Welsh Assembly are committed to reducing the amount we send to landfill and that schemes like Prosiect Gwyrdd are looking into ways to convert our rubbish into energy.
However – will ruling with an iron fist work (dishing out fines to councils left right and centre) or will it just hinder any further progress? Surely working to financial incentives and encouraging better waste management is better than penalising councils for not being up to scratch.
Call me a cynic but if councils are fined, then surely it’ll be us lot who suffer in the long run when we have to cough up more council tax.
Filed under: Environment, Recycling, Waste | Tags: Cardiff Council, Christmas Tree Recycling, Christmas Waste, Delia Smith, Oxfam, The Woodland Trust, Using Leftover Food
So you’ve survived eating cold turkey sandwiches all week, you’ve just about eaten you body weight in cheese and you’re almost glad to see the back of a mince pie for at least another 11 months. We certainly get through a lot of it over the Christmas period, and many of us will now be thinking of our healthy and energetic start to 2010. In this interim week-long limbo between Christmas and New Year, its easy to laze in front of yet another vintage film on ITV and forget all about the growing mountain of waste outside your back door.
So what easy things can be done to combat some of this leftover stuff? You mastered your surprised ‘oh isn’t this a lovely present face’ on Christmas morning when you opened that hideous jumper from Grandma, or received the John Grisham thriller you’ve no intention of ever reading. How on earth can you offload them now everyone’s gone back home and you’re left with a pile of tat you don’t want or need? After tiring of my gifts after about 5 minutes, I went for a trawl on the internet to explore ways one can do exactly that – although at first I stumbled across this reworking of a timeless Christmas Carol!
Having never yet hosted my own Christmas dinner, I too am oblivious to what happens to all that leftover stuff after a Christmas with all the trimmings. It seems for the most resourceful, any leftover food is shoehorned into the subsequent days dinners – and I’m not just talking about those aforementioned never-ending turkey sandwiches. Delia Smith, love her or hate her, has a number of recipe ideas utilizing the leftovers from Christmas lunch ranging from Turkey Soup to a Stilton omelette (so maybe i could manage a bit more cheese then!).
No doubt in the coming weeks every street will become littered with the skeletal remains of the once beloved Christmas tree. Now with pride of place in the heart of every cosy living room the length and breadth of the country, soon to be standing naked and bare on the end of each street corner. Cardiff Council can spare us all the rather depressing January sight that is the christmas tree graveyard as they offer a Christmas Tree recycling service. Well, I may have dressed that up a bit, as their website advises you to remove the decorations, chop it up and whack it in your green wheelie bin. The same can also be said of that real christmas holly wreath you had hanging on your front door, the boughs of holly with which you decked the halls and the cheeky mistletoe you hid at the top of the stairs.
In terms of recycling all your Christmas cards and wrapping paper, The Woodland Trust are collecting cards at all M&S, WH Smith and TK Maxx stores throughout January. And good news with this is, not only will they be recycling and making new paper but they are also pledging to plant 12,000 new trees, the location of which you can decide by clicking the link above. Wrapping paper needs to go in your green recycling bags – its estimated that 32 square miles of wrapping paper could end up in UK bins after Christmas!
Finally, back to that dodgy board game, trashy novel or putrid smelling aftershave you received from Auntie Phyllis. Well the charity shop could well be the answer for those who are more ethically minded – here’s Oxfam’s rough guide to the kind of goods they accept. Otherwise you could always whack it up on eBay!
For more information take a look at Cardiff Council’s Christmas recycling guide.
Filed under: Future Thinking, Recycling, Waste | Tags: Friends of the Earth, ITV1 Wales, recycle, Recycling, S4C, targets, Twitter, Waste Awareness Wales, Welsh Assembly
An effective bilingual advertising campaign, created by Golley Slater, has been launched by Waste Awareness Wales in order to meet an ambitious new target of 70% recycling for all household waste by 2025.
Owain Griffiths, head of Waste Awareness Wales, said: “There is a lot more work to be done to reduce the effects of climate change. While 98% of Welsh households receive a recycling collection, only 50% of householders currently take part and this is simply not enough.”
Failing to recycle will soon start to cost us all money. There is a need to meet strict European targets and failing these will result in the taxpayer having to pay more.
Friends of the Earth offer some great tips for recycling.