Wales hits its biodegradable waste targets

Every local authority in Wales has hit its 2010- 2011 target for diverting biodegradable waste from landfill, the Environment Agency Wales (EAW) has announced.

According to the Landfill Allowances Scheme report, Wales has used less than three quarters of its maximum landfill quota for biodegradable municipal waste. The scheme was launched in October 2004 to help Wales meet its waste reduction targets under the EU Landfill Directive.

The Directive was set up to help cap the amount of biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill by 50% of the 1995 figure by 2013, and 35% of the 1995 figure by 2020.

As part of the scheme, every Welsh council has an allowance for the amount of biodegradable waste it can send to landfill, exceeding this allowance can lead to fines.

Wales’ environment minister, John Griffiths, said: “Today’s report is good news for Wales, and I want to congratulate Welsh councils and residents for their efforts to prevent waste and to dispose of unavoidable waste as sustainably as possible.”

The EAW said it is important that biodegradable waste is kept from landfill as it produces the greenhouse gas methane.

As a result, food waste is a key priority in Wales’ waste strategy Towards Zero Waste, and the Welsh Government has funded the campaign ‘Waste Awareness Wales’, which works closely with Welsh local authorities to help them encourage people to reduce their waste.

As part of the campaign, Welsh authorities run a kerbside food waste collection to collect food waste, which can then be composted or treated using anaerobic digestion to create biogas which can be used as a fuel.

EAW’s director, Chris Mills, said: “Reducing waste sent to landfill clearly has its environmental benefits. It helps cut down greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Sending waste to more sustainable options other than landfill also ensures more efficient use of our natural resources and significant carbon savings.”

Carys Matthews

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