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Welsh government defends waste record

The Welsh government has defended its recycling record following a critical report claiming a row between the executive and councils about collection methods was undermining efforts.

The auditor general for Wales raised concerns around the Welsh government’s leadership and “prescriptive style of communications about sustainable recycling” (see below for report).

A spokeswoman for the Welsh government said: “It is too early for the government to respond fully to this report, as it has just been issued.

“However Wales leads the way with the highest recycling rate of any UK country and latest figures show that between July and September 2011 the people of Wales recycled a record breaking 49% of their waste. We are working hard to ensure that this figure keeps rising.”

She added the government was working with  local authorities on collection methods through the Collaborative Change Programme.

“We also have set out clear guidance on collections in the Collections Blueprint as well as guidance for waste prevention in our Municipal Sector Plan,” she added.

Public Participation in Waste Recycling in summary:

  • The report highlights difficulties caused by conflicting views between the Welsh Government and local authorities about how best to provide recycling services for the public.
  • The Welsh government believes kerbside recycling and sorting is the most consistent mechanism for producing quality waste material and dislikes commingling dry waste – such as bottles, cans and card.
  • Some local authorities and private sector contractors dispute this assertion, saying that modern recovery facilities can mechanically sort co-mingled waste to sufficient quality and at a similar cost
  • They say it is a much easier process for the public, who don’t have to sort materials and would boost levels of public participation further.

See full report here.

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