Binned? Powys set to make u-turn on unpopular recycling cuts

Reporter:

Jonny Drury

The newly formed coalition cabinet has made its first big decision with a u-turn on the controversial changes to household recycling centres seems a distinct possibility.

An urgent review is to be carried out into the impact of reducing the opening days of the county’s five household waste and recycling centres.

The county council reduced the opening days of the county’s five centres to three days a week in April and introduced restrictions on the types of vehicle that can use them as part of budget saving measures.

Councillor Phyl Davies, Cabinet member for Waste, said: “I have called for a very urgent review of the impact of the changes introduced at the county’s household waste and recycling centres.

“We will also look again at the vehicle restrictions that were introduced at the same time.

“Powys is committed to reducing waste and increasing recycling rates but the recent changes have sent out mixed messages and we need to reassure the public.

“The changes have attracted considerable comment and were the centre of public concern during the council election campaign.

“It was always the council’s intention to review the impact of the changes but I have asked for that work to take place as a matter of urgency.

“This cabinet is committed to delivering changes for the residents of Powys and tackling the issues that are causing most concern,” he added.

Opening days at the five household waste centres Brecon, Llandegley, Newtown, Welshpool and Lower Cwmtwrch in Ystradgynlais were reduced in February following a review of the service.

The current opening days and times for the centres are:

Brecon: Monday and Tuesday (9am-5pm); Sundays (9am-4pm)

Llandegley: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays (10am-4pm)

Newtown: Tuesday and Thursdays (9am-5pm); Sundays (9am-4pm)

Welshpool: Monday and Fridays (9am-5pm); Saturdays (9am-4pm)

Lower Cwmtwrch, Ystradgynlais: Thursday and Fridays (9am-5pm); Saturdays (9am-4pm)

Restrictions on the type of vehicles that can access the centres came into effect at the same time.

The restrictions on vehicles have caused anger among residents, with one Guilsfield man being banned from taking garden waste to Potter’s Recycling Centre, despite his van not being registered as a commercial vehicle.

Welshpool County Cllr Graham Breeze, who has been pushing for changes in the county, added: “We all recognise that savings have to be made but the long-term strategy of closing household waste recycling centres is badly flawed and the review is essential.

“Top of virtually every new candidate’s agenda in the county council election campaign was restoring recycling centres.

“Now as a new council we have the opportunity to follow through on the promises that were made.

“I applaud the Portfolio Holder for his immediate action in calling for a full review.”

See full story in the County Times

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