Scrutiny Councillors praise Recycling and Landfill staff for incredible efforts

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Councillors on the Service Improvement & Finance Panel recently met with the Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement and Infrastructure Management, Councillor Mark Thomas to discuss the Recycling and Landfill Annual Performance Report 2020-21.

The Panel was informed that Swansea Council will move away from landfill operations, towards an Energy from Waste (EfW) facility. Panel Members queried whether this EfW scheme would lead to savings in landfill costs. Officers explained that EfW is a more costly process, however, by closing the landfill site the operational costs are reduced, thereby being more cost efficient going forward.

Panel Members questioned whether the EfW schemes would add to the carbon footprint and were informed that there are currently no such facilities in Swansea and therefore we must incur the added transport costs, however, these costs will counter-balance with the reduction of our creation of landfill waste.

Cllr Thomas explained to the Panel that negotiations were still ongoing to secure a contract with an EfW facility and more details will follow pending finalisation of contracts.

Panel Members raised concerns over fly tipping, particularly in relation to the collection of wood. Officers explained that, regarding hazardous wood, Natural Resources Wales have provided guidance on sorting wood, and officers undertook to clarify further information regarding what constitutes hazardous wood and proposals for disposal.

The Panel heard that Swansea Council has achieved the recycling target of 64% last year, despite the challenges of the Pandemic.

Panel Members acknowledged the fantastic operation of the waste disposal facilitates and plants during the Pandemic, and commended all staff involved for their incredible efforts.

Click here to view all details discussed at this meeting.

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