Recycling Roundup 30th July
Official figures provided by Defra say that the UK has exceeded its packaging recycling target every year since 1997 and that last year, 64% of packaging was recycled. The increased recycling rate is attributed to the fact that much of the waste was sent overseas and the UK now exports six times more waste than it did in 2002.
But if you dutifully recycle everything you can, brace yourself for the findings of the National Audit Office’s report which said that there’s no way to prove that packaging sent for recycling actually gets recycled.
They say that the UK’s recycling system is open to fraud because there aren’t adequate checks on what is being reprocessed or exported overseas.
The report, which was released as a response to a request from the Environmental Audit Committee earlier this year, looked into the packaging recycling system in the UK, and found that the packaging recycling rates could be exaggerated.
Defra don’t agree and they say that since they have introduced producer responsibility rules, packaging recycling rates have increased considerably.
The charity WRAP are also looking into the potentially exaggerated packaging recycling figures, as there are concerns that a large amount of recycling waste is being dumped in the sea.
Image courtesy of WRAP UK
Residents of Gelligaer, a village in South Wales, have taken their concerns about an ‘unbearable smell’ coming from a farm, quarry, and recycling plant to a public meeting. Around 75 residents attended the meeting which was described as ‘stormy at times.’
Residents say they have had to deal with the smell and issues with rats for 10 years, and that they have complained to the council, Environmental Health, and the owners of the Quarry, Bryn Group to no avail. Other residents also complained about high levels of noise from machinery and dust.
In 2010, residents delivered a petition to the Welsh Assembly demanding that the recycling plant was shut down.
The Bryn Group admitted that the smell coming from the site has been an issue recently, but blamed peat fires which they believe were started deliberately. They added that there is no rat problem on their site as they observe strict pest control regulations and are regularly inspected by the council. The dust issue was blamed on the recent spell of very dry weather and the noise complaints were met with an explanation that their equipment operates during farming hours and is not subject to restriction. This won’t please residents who say that they can hear the machinery from as early as 5am.
The assembly member for Caerphilly, Hefin David, will now take the residents’ concerns to Public Health Wales. Enforcement of any noise, dust, or public health regulations is the job of the council, but a multi-agency meeting is being planned to discuss the issues.
At least two people have been taken to hospital after a fire broke out at a recycling centre in Norwich. The fire was in the household waste section of the recycling centre, and it gave off a lot of smoke and heat because there were approximately 30 tonnes of waste on fire.
Around 50 firefighters attended the blaze at the Mile Cross Recycling Centre and more than 20 families were evacuated from a traveller’s site close by. Two people living on the site were taken to hospital.
A drone was used to help the fire service tackle the blaze and fire crews from Earlham, Carrow, Sprowston, Wroxham, Hethersett, Wymondham and Loddon were drafted into help. The Environment Agency and police had also been helping with the incident.
The fire service asked residents living nearby to keep their windows closed until the fire was dealt with.