Recent changes in residential waste management policy by Cardiff Council

I have taken the change in policy by the local authority very seriously. I have met the leader of the council and the cabinet member responsible for waste management in Cardiff, and, separately, Kevin Brennan MP has met the cabinet member with a local resident present.

I have no doubt that there are lessons which the council will wish to learn from the way in which all of this has been handled. Behind the specifics, however, there is the very important matter of recycling levels. Failure to meet mandatory recycling levels, set at a European level, results in very significant fines, both for Wales and for Cardiff. This is not a theoretical possibility; it really will happen if recycling levels are not improved. While very many individuals work assiduously to make sure that they recycle as much of their own domestic waste as possible, the collective figures demonstrate that Cardiff falls below the levels achieved by many other communities in Wales. While I understand that there are many different views as to how this position could best be addressed, the council’s actions have been motivated by a wish to improve levels of recycling in the city.

As far as the new system itself is concerned, I hope that some small additional flexibility has now become apparent. For those who would rather not be part of the scheme at all then the bins can be re-collected by the council and we can help make sure that this happens quickly. I have also received an assurance that the position will be kept very carefully under review in its early weeks, and that the local authority will look actively at any possibilities for amending the scope of the scheme if that becomes possible.

Mark Drakeford AM