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Sargeant rejects single waste authority for Wales

The Welsh environment minister has labelled a country-wide waste authority unnecessary because the country’s existing policies stressed partnership working.

Carl Sargeant

Speaking to MRW, Carl Sargeant, left, said reorganisation was a matter for the local government minister but the Wales ‘blueprint’ for local councils already provided best practice of collaboration and how to integrate services across political boundaries.

“There are some great examples of authorities in Wales where they are collaborating in how they dispose of waste, how some of the collections are made specifically and how they work together to get the best prices etc for some of the recyclates.

“So we don’t operate entirely in isolation on waste, we are working well together.”

He conceded there was room for improvement in the procurement and delivery services with only half of the councils adopting the blueprint for those aspects.

“I would hope that we could encourage all the authorities to take that up because there are considerable savings to be made if they are to do that,” he said.

He also rejected the introduction of fines for residents who fail to recycle effectively.

Sargeant believes that the relationship between local authorities, the Welsh government and communities is critical in achieving strong recycling rates.

He said that residents needed to understand the reasoning behind the necessity to recycle rather than being coerced.

“I think our recycling rate has been very positive because people take ownership [of their communities] which is why the fine issue is not on the radar.”

More from Sargeant and other reports on recycling in Wales in the MRW issue of 25 July.

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