Flintshire County Council look set for a hefty fine after breaching strict landfill targets.
Documents released on Monday 8th September by Natural Resources Wales show that out of the twenty two local authorities in Wales, Flintshire County Council performed the worst when it came to hitting their respective landfill reduction targets.
Under the The Landfill Allowances Regulations (2004) each waste disposal authoritity in Wales (Council) is set a limit on the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) they can send to landfill, the amount must be below the allowance allocated to avoid a penalty.
Biodegradable Municipal Waste is waste which degrades within a landfill site, it comprises primarily of food, paper, and garden waste, and contributes to environmental problems such as leachate production – liquid that drains or ‘leaches’ from a landfill, it also releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas, which can contribute to climate change.
Overall, Wales hit its target fairly easily with the twenty two councils sending a total of 345,022 tonnes of waste to their respective sites, 23% less than the target of 450,000 tonnes for 2013/14.
Eight councils, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Ceredigion, Denbighshire, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Powys and Torfaen, used less that 70% of their allowances.
Flintshire sent 24,296 tonnes of waste to landfill sites in 2013/14 – 503 tonnes more than their allowance of 23793 tonnes, 102.1% or 2.1% above target.
Three other councils, Cardiff, Newport and Merthyr Tydfil sent more than their target allowance.
According to the Landfill Allowances Document a penalty of £200 for each tonne of waste over the authorities allowance will be applied, this would leave Flintshire County Council with a huge fine of over £100,000*.
*we have asked for the council the verify this.
Looking at previous years 2013/14 (not shown below) is the first year since the Landfill Allowances Scheme (LAS) came into force in 2004 that Flintshire had defaulted on their commitment.
Talking about this years performance Minister for Natural Resources, Culture and Sport John Griffiths said:
“I am pleased to see that we are continuing to meet our targets to reduce the amount of biodegradable waste we send to landfill; Welsh councils sent 5% less to landfill compared to last year. It demonstrates that we are continuing to progress even as the targets become more challenging. We will continue to work with councils to support them to improve.
“Wales is leading the way in reducing the waste we sent to landfill and recycling, composting and reusing as much as possible. As well as helping councils to avoid landfill taxes, there is a clear environmental benefit. Biodegradable waste in landfill sites produces methane, which is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.”