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Government urged to step in over recycling

Created on 06/11/2016 @ 07:34
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The Welsh Government is being asked to step into the row over the possible closure of Welshpool’s recycling centre.

Montgomeryshire AM Russell George has raised concern about the possible closure of the site and the one in Pool Road, Newtown with the Minister responsible for Local Government, Mark Drakeford.

A consultation is currently being conducted by Powys County Council relating to household waste, which provides a number of cost cutting proposals that will potentially result in the closure of further household waste recycling centres.
Commenting on the proposals in the consultation, Russell George, AM for Montgomeryshire said: “I have been inundated by  constituents in relation to a consultation currently being conducted by Powys County Council relating to household waste, which provides a number of cost cutting proposals which could potentially result in the closure of a site at either Newtown or Welshpool.
“As a result of the closure of the Potters Yard Recycling Centre in Machynlleth, some Montgomeryshire residents are already expected to travel up to 30 miles to their nearest recycling centre.

“Should the proposal go forward and further household recycling centres close, it will provide unacceptable difficulties to many residents who have adhered so well to the council’s ever increasing demands associated with recycling their household waste.
“Residents in Machynlleth and the west of Montgomeryshire will be left with the unacceptable option of a 60-mile round trip to Newtown, or an 80-mile round trip to Welshpool to use the recycling services provided by Powys County Council.”
The AM believes that the Environment Protection Act 1990  which states that local authorities have a statutory obligation to provide its residents with at least one facility where they may deposit their household waste needs to be updated.
Mr George added: “I believe that the Environment Act 1990 needs to be amended and I have written to the Welsh Government Minister responsible for Local Government to ensure that all residents in Wales have access to a household recycling centre within a reasonable distance from their home.
“The Environment Act came into being before local government re-organisation in 1996.  In Powys, due to the way in which the Act is worded, only one facility across Powys would be required to fulfil the statutory obligation. Although Powys Council is not currently proposing to go this far, it’s clear that this legislation needs to be updated.

“There are now serious concerns that the potential closure of the site at either Newtown or Welshpool will result in an increase in fly-tipping and a reduction in recycling rates in the area due to the fact that the nearest recycling centre will be an unacceptable distance away.”

A petition has also been launched against the planned closures with over 500 signatures to date.
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