Facing £1.1m missed target fine, Flintshire Council seeks public input on new waste strategy
Flintshire County Council has opened the floor to its residents, inviting them to participate in shaping the future of waste management in the region.
A public consultation is underway to gather insights and opinions on the Council’s new draft Resources and Waste strategy.
This initiative aims to significantly improve recycling rates and reduce the county’s environmental impact.
The urgency of the strategy is underlined by the Council’s current situation. Flintshire faces a risk of fines exceeding £1.1 million for not meeting Welsh Government recycling targets in previous years.
With further penalties looming for 2023/24 and beyond, the Council is eager to adopt measures that will increase Flintshire’s recycling rate from the current 61% to 70%.
The Council says it supports declarations made by the Welsh Government for “the Public Sector to become net zero by 2030.”
“Reducing the consumption of raw materials and increasing reuse and recycling to save precious resources is a key part of reaching net zero.”
The draft strategy outlined by Flintshire Council focuses on five key priorities:
Priority 1 – Waste Minimisation and Reuse: This priority focuses on reducing overall waste generation and promoting the reuse of materials. The strategy aims to shift from traditional linear resource models (make, buy, dispose) to a circular model to preserve the environment for future generations. Efforts include proactive engagement with communities to minimize waste and encouraging reuse and repair in partnership with third-sector organizations.
Priority 2 – Increase Recycling: The strategy sets a target to achieve over 70% recycling rates. It involves operating recycling centers efficiently, producing soil conditioner from garden waste composting, and enforcing against waste crimes like fly-tipping. The goal is to divert more recyclable materials from residual waste streams to kerbside recycling services.
Priority 3 – Decarbonisation: This priority is closely linked to the council’s vision to be a net carbon zero council by 2030. It includes measures to reduce carbon emissions and the overall carbon footprint, supporting wider decarbonization actions across the county, and aligning with the Welsh Government’s zero waste target by 2050.
Priority 4 – Infrastructure: The strategy includes investing in infrastructure to future-proof services and accommodate service growth. This involves managing existing recycling facilities, possibly developing new ones, and ensuring that the infrastructure supports the circular economy and waste management goals.
Priority 5 – Enforcement: This priority includes utilizing proportionate and effective enforcement measures for non-conformance. It focuses on ensuring compliance with waste management regulations and supporting the achievement of recycling targets.
Within the strategy document, there is no reference to changes in the collection cycles or schedules for kerbside waste collections.
Flintshire Council had previously launched a consultation to gauge public opinion on changing from fortnightly general waste collections to either three or four weekly, but this was dismissed by councillors.
The focus appears to be more on improving participation, introducing new recyclable materials, and enhancing the overall efficiency of the collections, aiming to minimise their environmental impact.
Councillor Dave Hughes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Streetscene and the Regional Transport Strategy, emphasises the importance of this strategy. “This is an important strategy which will influence the future of resource and waste management in Flintshire,” he said. He urges all residents to participate in the consultation process, highlighting the need for community involvement to shape the final version of the strategy.
Connects Centres, Libraries, and Household Recycling Centres across the county will open their doors for a series of public consultations.
From the 5th of December to the 10th of January, these community hubs will be the focal points for discussions, providing local residents with the platform to voice their opinions and contribute to the draft strategy plans.
A Series of Scheduled Events
The series kicks off at Buckley Connects Centre/Library on Tuesday, 5th December, and continues through various locations, including Holywell Connects Centre, Mold Connects Centre/Library, Flint Connects Centre, and Connah’s Quay Connects Centre/Library.
Household Recycling Centres in Sandycroft, Greenfield, Buckley, Mold/Nercwys, and Oakenholt are also hosting events.
Wales Climate Week Celebration
A highlight of the schedule is the celebration of Wales Climate Week at Wepre Park, Connah’s Quay. Scheduled for the 8th of December, from 10 am to 2:30 pm, this event at the Wepre Park Garden Room will focus on environmental sustainability, a crucial aspect of the draft strategy.
Access to Information and Consultation
During these events, copies of the draft strategy and consultation questionnaires will be available, ensuring that community members have all the necessary information to provide informed feedback.
The draft strategy can be found here.
Residents wishing to submit their views in paper format can email Streetsceneadmin@flintshire.gov.uk or post their responses to the Council’s Streetscene and Transportation department.
All responses are requested to be submitted by January 12, 2024.
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