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Wales sets tough waste prevention targets

Welsh resource minister Alun Davies has outlined plans to reduce household waste production by 1.2% a year and said there are “huge financial savings to be made”.

Davies launched Wales’ new Waste Prevention Programme, in an attempt to break the link between economic growth and generation of waste.

It introduces annual waste reduction targets for 2050, compared to a 2006/7 baseline. These include decreases of 1.4% a year for construction and demolition, 1.2% for commercial and 1.4% for industrial waste. 

It also outlines measures to boost separate collection of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. 

Alun Davies launche Wales' waste prevention programme

Middle: minister for natural resources and food Alun Davies, along with representiaves from WRAP, Brains and Castell Howell

The programme was launched at a food business in Cardiff Bay, where Davies met with representatives from pub chain Brains and food wholesaler Castell Howell (left).

According to Davies the average Welsh household wastes £60 of edible food a month. It is also estimated one skip of mixed construction waste on a site is worth around £1,300 and clothing waste discarded by retailers is valued at around £27,000 per tonne.

Davies said: “I want a shift in thinking towards waste as a valuable resource. Wherever possible, we should be looking to make the most of these products before they become waste.”

“I want us to break the link between waste generation and economic growth. The Welsh Government is committed to delivering on the economy, and securing a healthy supply of natural resources is key to this.

“These are not contradictory aims, there are huge financial savings to be made.”

Recent figures show Welsh councils have continued to improve their recycling rates. Local authorities recycled 55% of municipal waste between April to June this year, with Denbighshire topping the list at 65%

Davies said: “Wales continues to lead the way for recycling in the UK. Last month we hit our first annual statutory target of recycling 52% of waste and we continue to see improvements. These excellent results are thanks to hard work from local councils and householders committed to recycling.”

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