Consultation on Flintshire Council’s Recycling Strategy to Take Place as Fines Loom
A CONSULTATION on a strategy to improve recycling rates is set to take place in Flintshire as the council is at risk of being fined for missing targets.
The draft Resources and Waste Strategy by the council set out the “strategic direction” to meet targets, as highlighted in a report set out to a cabinet meeting today (Tuesday, November 21).
The report also states that without action, Flintshire Council is at risk of being fined around £1.13m for failing to achieve these targets in 2021/2022 and 2022/2023, as well as a further risk of similar fines in 2023/2024.
The target for recycling rates was set at 64% but the council reported that it “continually missed the target” in the last three years, and in 2024/25 the target is set to rise to 70%.
Compositional analysis from the report shows that “13,410 tonnes of material in the residual waste bin could have been recycled using the existing services and, of this, 6,940 tonnes was food waste.”
Previously, a review saw recommendations put forward to achieve the 70% target, with the cabinet deciding not to make changes to the Waste Strategy but undertake a “further period of monitoring” to see if it could be achieved through education and enforcement alone.
An action plan was presented to the Minister for Climate Change for consideration in the decision on whether to levy a fine but was not accepted as being “sufficient to give assurance of the council’s approach in meeting the current and future targets”.
The Minister has not yet made a decision on the infraction fines, but a new strategy was developed with supporting residents and communities to recycle and embed long-term behaviour change at its “core”.
The report said the council could not make “required changes” alone and would need a “collective effort”. It highlighted the importance for residents and communities to help shape proposals, so it recommended a full consultation take place for a six-week period beginning December 1, 2023.
At the cabinet meeting, Llanfynydd councillor Dave Hughes (Labour) said it highlighted a need for waste enforcement officers, “because (they are) going nowhere without them”.
Cllr David Healey for Caergwrle (Labour) said he gave full support for the strategy and that it was “extremely regrettable” that they could be faced with a fine. He added that Flintshire is, “shooting ourselves in the foot by not recycling properly”.
It was recommended that the cabinet acknowledge the progress made in achieving a robust and effective Resources and Waste Strategy to meet net-zero targets, mitigate against the risk of fines and achieve statutory recycling targets.
It was also recommended to approve the commencement of a consultation exercise on the authority’s draft Resources and Waste Strategy.
Both recommendations were moved at the cabinet meeting.
By Emily Ash – Local Democracy Reporter
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