Posted: Thu 12th May 2016

Three household waste recycling centres in Flintshire threatened with closure. Thoughts from a Green perspective.

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, May 12th, 2016

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BY MARTIN BENNEWITH.

The future of three household waste recycling centres in Flintshire are under serious threat, following a recommendation by the Welsh Government, that Flintshire should operate with just three centres.

The three sites under threat are in Buckley, Flint, and Connah’s Quay. The final decision on the fate of the sites is due to be announced in November.

Cllr Kevin Jones, Flintshire Council cabinet member for public protection and waste, admits that due to austerity and the falling cost of waste, the recommendations should be given serious consideration.

It was not so long ago that there were eight recycling centres in Flintshire, but now there are just six, with some on reduced opening hours.

Nearly one-third of all household waste is deposited at one of the six recycling centres.

The Welsh government recommends that the recycling rate at these centres should be approaching 90%, however, the rate across the six centres is around 70%, and it is suggested that higher quality sites with better access would be preferable.

This seems to be implying that by closing three sites, we will recycle more waste.

So, the idea is really to save money, however it is being dressed up as something that is positive.

For me, as soon as it was admitted that it was a cost saving measure, the rest became a load of garbage, pun intended.

There was criticism of some of the sites, so rather than improve them, apparently, they should close instead.

This also leads me on to a suggestion by Cllr Jones that people would be happy to travel further to the sites, rather than dump their excess rubbish somewhere else.

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The above photo was taken at the Asda Queensferry car park.

This was a Tetra-Pak recycling unit, full to the brim, surrounded by bin bags.

It seems that some people would rather do this than travel to Sandycroft.

This council-owned facility has since been removed. It may have removed the problem here, but based on some of the comments on an online petition, fly-tipping may be on the increase, and one concern is that this will get worse with less recycling centres.

As a Green Party member, I cannot write an article on recycling without touching upon the impact to our climate.

We should all be working to reduce our carbon footprints, as 95% of scientists agree that humans are responsible for the recent unprecedented rise in the global temperature, and unless you are Nathan Gill, you would probably agree with people who have been studying this topic for many years.

Recycling waste is one way we can do this, but driving less is another.

Closing recycling centres will make both tasks more difficult, and it should be the job of the government, even at a local level, to encourage good practice.

I can only see the opposite happening. Anyway, all may not be lost.

If planning permission is accepted for a proposed landfill site in Mold, we can just go back to the old ways of doing things.

I suppose at least our children’s children will have a shorter journey to the seaside!

So, it is all rather familiar, and I can see similarities to the way local decisions have been made over school closures – Identify savings, present a biased justification, and then execute the plan.

I know these are difficult decisions, and the fact remains that huge efficiency savings are being forced upon local authorities, but still, we can’t be doing that bad in Wales, we can after all afford to spend £1billion on a new road in the South, but please admit it is all about saving money, instead of trying to dress things up as something that will improve our services. When the negative, longer term impacts of efficiency savings are so far reaching, there needs to be a serious rethink.

If you live in or near Flintshire, and are unhappy with the prospect of the possible closures, please add your voice to help keep our recycling centres open, by signing this online petition.

This petition, along with the comments, will be delivered to members of the Welsh Assembly, as well as Flintshire Council cabinet member for public protection and waste.

https://www.change.org/p/flintshire-council-save-our-recycling-centres-in-flintshire[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1463088771551{background-color: #2aa800 !important;border-radius: 2px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_empty_space height=”10px”][vc_single_image image=”32667″ css_animation=”right-to-left”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Martin  is originally from Dagenham in East London and moved to Deeside when he was 21. He is currently studying Psychology at the OU, and volunteers for a local social enterprise, Rainbow Biz. Martin is a keen musician, and a member of Mensa He joined the Green Party and became more politically active early last year, after learning to manage social anxiety and panic attacks, and stood as a candidate for Alyn and Deeside in the Wales Assembly elections. He juggles all of this with a full-time office job and a small family.

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