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Monday, 20 October 2014

Cardiff%20RecyclingAn interesting case study on the idea of recycling in UK cities has arisen. Cardiff council may be fined over £800,000 after failing to meet its goals of increasing the percentage of recycled waste to 52% by 2013/14. The city only reached a rate of 50% during this period. Further fines are expected to rise to up to £21 million if the city has not increased recycling to rates to 70%, cut landfill levels to 5% and reduced the level of energy from waste to 30% by 2025. Despite recycling 85000 tonnes of rubbish per year, the council must find ways to recycle an extra 32000 tonnes in the future to avoid hefty fines.

The Cardiff Waste Management Strategy 2011-2015 was introduced in 2011 and resulted in a drastic change to the city’s waste management, introducing more frequent rubbish collection and various methods of collection. Despite reaching its target in the 2012/13 period, the city recently failed to reach its next target. A report considered by the Environmental Scrutiny Committee on the 7th of October outlines the fines the city will face as a result of these errors, which, if Cardiff council fails to rectify, could equate to over £21 million for “doing nothing.”

The author of the report, county clerk Marie Rosenthal, writes that over half of what is thrown away in the city could be easily recycled. She went on to say that domestic waste represents the majority of waste processed by the council and that the city should focus on improving recycling in this area. Unfortunately, the council believes the only way to improve domestic recycling rates is to decrease the frequency of waste collections and introduce unpopular recycling methods such as kerbside sorting, where different types of materials are sorted by residents. It seems Cardiff Council is faced with a difficult decision regarding the future of waste processing in their city.

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