Wales hits composting targets

Targets which limit the amount of compostable waste that can be sent to landfill have been met by all local authorities in Wales.

The Welsh Assembly Government has stated that by 2010 the country as a whole must not be sending more than 710,000 tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste to landfill.

Under its national waste strategy, the country is required to compost at least 10% of its waste by 2007, and at least 15% by 2010.

Figures published this week show Wales is on track to meet these targets and Environment Minister Carwyn Jones described the achievement as a promising step towards tackling waste, one of the biggest environmental concerns facing the country.

Speaking at Bryn Quarry, a new enclosed-tunnel composting site near Caerphilly, Mr Jones said improved facilities and waste sorting techniques would mean that in the future separation of food waste would become more commonplace in Wales.

“Today’s figures are good news and prove that Wales is rising to the challenge of better waste management. There are still challenges ahead, though, and we must continue to cut down on the amount of rubbish we throw away which could be recycled, reused or composted,” he said.

“Composting kitchen scraps and garden cuttings, which would otherwise generate methane in landfill sites, is one way in which everyone can do their bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore help fight global climate change.”

The Minister pointed to the privately-owned Bryn Quarry composting facility as an outstanding example of how local authorities can deal with food waste without resorting to landfill.

He said that the facility should set the standard for others to follow, and congratulated local authorities for Merthyr Tydfil and Torfaen which are now delivering compostable waste to the facility.

Cllr Richard Parry Hughes, chairman of Waste Awareness Wales said: “Today’s announcement is testament to the hard work put in by local authorities in Wales to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill and marks a significant milestone towards meeting further targets set by Europe and the Welsh Assembly Government.”

Sam Bond

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