Wales has the best UK record on keeping recyclables out of rubbish clearance bags and bins, and thereby, diverting the most rubbish away from landfills. In fact, if Wales was a separate nation, it would rank fourth in the European Union for the best municipal recycling record, after Germany, Austria, and Belgium. This is based on official data published in the EU recycling league tables and reported widely in the media.
With an earnest commitment to sustainable practices, the Welch government has now set a highly ambitious goal: zero rubbish clearance going into landfills by year 2050!
An equally ambitious intermediate goal has been set: a minimum seventy percent recycle rate by year 2025, with thirty percent or less of all rubbish going to landfills. In order to achieve these goals, several Welsh officials are proposing the idea of fining people who put recyclables in their rubbish clearance bags. While the majority of citizens seem okay with this idea, even hail it as a positive, there is a vocal minority who oppose it.
It looks like the controversial idea of fining citizens who put their recyclables in with their rubbish clearance will be tested soon by Rhondda Cynon Taf council. It was revealed by Ann Crimmings, a Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council’s cabinet member for Environment and Leisure, on BBC’s Good Morning Wales programme, that other Welsh councils are watching closely to see how successful this strategy is and how it is received by citizens. If the Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s new fines are shown to improve the recycling rate, there is little doubt that similar fines will be imposed in other councils and counties in Wales.
In response to the Welsh naysayers, who believe these rubbish clearance goals are too lofty and unobtainable, the majority of Welsh individuals, especially those who are committed to ecojustice, point to Wales’ recent rubbish clearance achievements. In particular, they repeatedly tout that Wales reached its goal of a sixty-four percent municipal recycle rate FOUR years ahead of the scheduled goal. This occurred last August, 2017, and was widely boasted about in the media and elsewhere. It is certainly a feather in Wales’ proverbial cap!
Given the rubbish clearance crisis the whole world faces, most Welsh citizens view the next recycling goals that have been set as noble and achievable.
To this end, they do what they can to pitch in and help Wales meet them. However, others refuse to even comply with their local councils’ mandatory rules on recycling. For example, they continue to mix unsoiled paper recycling, tin cans, empty plastic containers, and other recyclables in with their rubbish clearance. Moreover, these non-compliant individuals simply don’t seem to have any interest in composting or other voluntary and highly successful methods of reducing waste removal streams.
The fines imposed by the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council will be an interesting social experiment. Ann Crimmings explained in the BBC interview that an “education campaign” would be implemented before the fines are initiated, most likely in June 2018. Council officials, and perhaps charity volunteers, will be talking with Rhondda Cynon Taf residents who do not put out a recycling bin to encourage them to chance their ways and explain to them why it’s so important to recycle. It would help the effort too if neighbours would chat it up with other neighbours.
Kudos Are In Order
– With much credit to the positive attitude and diligence of their residents, Ceredigion County has achieved the honor of having the best municipal recycling rate in Wales, having reached a seventy percent municipal recycle rate in 2017. Congratulations Ceredigion County! You totally rock! Way to go and keep it up!
– Wrexham County and Monmouthshire County are not far behind Ceredigion County, each having reached a sixty-nine municipal recycle rate during 2017, which is also highly commendable. Insert virtual applause here!
Even the lowest ranked Welsh County Deserves Some Praise
– In 2017, Blaenau Gwent County was the lowest performing county in Wales for municipal recycling, coming in at a fifty-seven percent recycle rate. However, it should be pointed out that this county did improve their recycle rate by eight percentage points in just one year, so it too should be given a much deserved pat on the back for their highly improved recycle rate.
– Furthermore, Blaenau Gwent County already has a better municipal recycle rate than many areas in Britain and Scotland. Everything is relative as they say! As the old timers like to say, Britain and Scotland, you need to get with the programme! You’re lagging behind and we know you can do better!
Now, if we can just get a friendly competition going for “best recycle rate in Wales,” achieving that 2050 goal may not seem so difficult.
It’s amazing what the human spirit can do when people dig in and really commit to a goal. While fines may be a good incentive to get non-compliant people to keep their recyclables out of their rubbish clearance bags, friendly competitions, perhaps with a little grant money for pet project thrown in, would work even better!
If you live in Wales, you may be interested to know that Clearabee, the very popular on demand rubbish clearance service, that started eight years ago in Britain, now covers South Wales. You simply give them a call to schedule a clearing. In Cardiff, they offer same day service. Clearabee offers several advantages over local council rubbish clearance service:
– Clearabee’s recycle rate is about ninety percent, compared to the fifty-eight percent recycle rate last reported in Cardiff.
– Clearabee picks up far more items and they’re more flexible on when to pick up the rubbish.
– Clearabee picks up from almost any location, and even brags about being able to fit into tight spaces where skips can’t go and their willingness to pick up from your garden or anywhere in your home so you don’t have to put the labor in to take it to the street or alley.
– Okay, this one may be hard to believe so check it out yourself. Clearabee often charges less than the local council for many types rubbish clearance jobs. It’s definitely worth a call to check out their services and prices!