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Law needs to be changed on recycling

 
Created on 01/12/2016 @ 16:27
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The law should be changed to ensure that everyone has access to a recycling facility within a reasonable distance from their home, according to Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George.

His comments come as the future of the recycling centres in Newtown and Welshpool are under threat from county council cutbacks.

Mr George has questioned the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Lesley Griffiths, on the measures she proposes to take to guarantee that residents in rural Powys will have access to recycling facilities without having to make a potential return journey of over 80 miles.

After raising the issue with Mrs Griffiths in the National Assembly for Wales, Mr George said: “Along with many other Montgomeryshire residents, I am very concerned at the prospect of losing yet another recycling centre in North Powys, either at 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 further household recycling centres close, it will mean significant inconvenience to many residents and some may be left with an unacceptable 80-mile round trip 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: “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.

“In order to protect against this, I believe that the Welsh Government has a role in amending the Environment Protection Act which, in my view, is not fit for purpose at the moment. It is not an acceptable suggestion for there to be only one recycling centre in the whole of the Powys County Council area and although Powys Council is not currently proposing to go this far, it’s clear that this legislation needs to be updated.

“I’m disappointed that the Cabinet Secretary doesn’t feel that the Act requires amendment at present but am pleased she has agreed to keep this under review if circumstances in Powys or anywhere else necessitate a change." 

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