The Landfill Allowances Scheme (LAS) limits the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (eg kitchen scraps and garden cuttings) councils are allowed to send to landfill. Minister for environment, planning and countryside Carwyn Jones said today's figures are a major achievement towards the Welsh Assembly Government aim to tackle one of Wales' most significant environmental challenges.
Mr Jones said: 'Today's figures are good news and prove that Wales is rising to the challenge of better waste management. There are still challenges ahead, though, and we must continue to cut down on the amount of rubbish we throw away which could be recycled, reused or composted.
'Composting kitchen scraps and garden cuttings, which would otherwise generate methane in landfill sites, is one way in which everyone can do their bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore help fight global climate change.'
The minister pointed to the Bryn Quarry composting facility at Gelligaer as an outstanding example of how local authorities can deal with food waste without resorting to landfill. He said that the facility should set the standard for others to follow, and congratulated Merthyr Tydfil CBC and Torfaen CBC who are now delivering compostable waste to the facility.
Richard Parry Hughes, chairperson of Waste Awareness Wales and Welsh Local Government Association spokesman for environment and planning said:
'Today's announcement is testament to the hard work put in by local authorities in Wales to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill and marks a significant milestone towards meeting further targets set by Europe and the Welsh Assembly Government.
'As part of the 'recycle for Wales/ailgylchu dros Gymru' campaign, Waste Awareness Wales is working closely with local authorities and other partners to encourage people to make use of their local recycling facilities, as well as reducing and reusing their waste.
'The WLGA is also supporting authorities with the waste peer review process which was specifically put in place to identify and share best practice, and assist our authorities meet their landfill diversion targets. Authorities are also utilising the Making the Connections initiative and the WLGA Partnership Boards to prioritise waste activity and ensure that recycling and waste infrastructure is delivered with maximum efficiency along with maximum environmental benefits.
'The latest figures are an encouraging development and I hope we will continue to make progress and rise to the challenge of further waste reduction.'
For further information on results of the Landfill Allowance Scheme and the 2005-06 report click here.
-- The Landfill Allowances Scheme (LAS) sets limits on the amount of biodegradable municipal waste in tonnes that each of the 22 local authorities in Wales may landfill, These limits are set for each year leading up to 2009-10, by when Wales as a whole must not landfill more than 710,000 tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste. In 2005/06 Wales landfilled 851,489 tonnes
-- Any local authority which sends to landfill more than the amount set by the Welsh Assembly Government is liable to a penalty of£200 per tonne
-- The LAS is monitored by the Environment Agency in Wales. It was introduced in Wales on 1 October 2004
-- The Bryn Quarry facility is owned and managed by Bryn Compost Ltd and uses fully enclosed tunnel technology. It is capable of treating 20,000 tonnes of food waste per year to produce high quality compost. Funding for the facility has been through a Welsh Assembly Government grant, private investment, and Objective One.
Targets in 'Wise About Waste', the National Waste Strategy for Wales for local authority recycling and composting of municipal waste, are:
-- 15% combined recycling and composting by 2003-04 with a minimum of 5% each of recycling and composting
-- 25% combined recycling and composting by 2006-07 with a minimum of 10% each of recycling and composting
-- 40% combined recycling and composting by 2009-10 with a minimum of 15% each of recycling and composting