Welsh Assembly defends waste prevention criticisms

The Welsh Assembly has reacted to suggestions from the Welsh Audit Office that it needs to take a stronger stance on municipal waste reduction by confirming that plans are already in place to tackle this.

Edie contacted the Assembly for its views on a Welsh Audit Office report released yesterday (February 16) which warned that Wales won’t meet its target to reduce its waste footprint by 75% by 2050 unless it gets to grips with minimising volumes in the first place.

A statement issued by the Assembly said that while it was “too early to respond fully” to the findings, clear guidance to address the issue has already been outlined in the Government’s municipal sector plan for waste prevention.

It added: “Furthermore we are developing a household waste prevention plan for article 29 of the revised Waste Framework Directive which will consider what ‘sustainable development’ as the Welsh Government’s central organising principle means for waste prevention.”

A spokesperson also maintained that the Government was “continuing to work closely” with local authorities on waste collection methods through its collaborative change programme.

Government officials are at pains to point out that Wales has the highest recycling rates of any UK country – latest figures show that between July and September 2011, 49% of waste was recycled.

In addition, the Assembly claims that municipal waste peaked in Wales in 2004 and has been declining steadily since at an average of around 2.7% per year.

Maxine Perella

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