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THE HERALD FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 9 2016


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Brecon Beacons Visitor Centre closes SIMON THOMAS, Rural


Affairs and Shadow Spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change, has voiced his concerns as the Brecon Beacons National Park prepares to close a large part of its Visitor Centre. The Plaid Cymru AM for Mid


and West Wales has urged the Welsh Government to step in to help the popular attraction: “Visitors to the Brecon Beacons enjoy some of the best views and nature trails in Europe. It’s very concerning that such an important part of the National Park is being closed.” The closure of the shop and the


Information Centre at the Mountain Centre in Libanus will result in three redundancies as the Brecon Beacons National Park bid to save more than £200,000. Last year,


the W e l s h


Go v e r nme n t ’ s C a b i n e t Secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, a n n o u n c e d that 2016


would be Wales’ Year of Adventure with the Labour Government urging the people of Wales to ‘Find Their Epic’. Simon Thomas believes the


Government is telling us one thing, and doing something completely different: “While the Labour Government pushes the idea of ‘Year of Adventure’, they have cut the funding for the National Park by 4.7%. 2016 hasn’t even finished and it seems that the Government is already moving on to its next publicity stunt. “The people of Wales need a


Government that goes further than empty words in front of a camera. We need a Welsh Government that acts on its promises and fights to ensure that Rural Wales’ economy grows and creates jobs.” The Rural Affairs Shadow


Spokesperson has discussed the issue with members of the National Park’s Authority, and hopes to work closely with local residents to ensure that the Brecon Beacons can thrive over the coming years: “Members of the Brecon Beacons National Park have made it clear to me that cuts and redundancies are inevitable while their funding is being cut by the Welsh Government. As the Regional Assembly Member for the Brecon Beacons, I will continue to correspond with the Authority and look to support them in any way possible.”


T


on top this year with a recycling percentage of 68% (just 2% below 2025’s recycling target) beating the Welsh governments target for the past 12 months to the end of March 2016 of 58% and Wales’s overall recycling percentage reached of 60%. Huw Morgan, the Strategic


Director of Sustainable Communities, explained that there are a variety of reason for Ceredigion’s outstanding performance, such as the willingness of residents to take part in the recycling collection service provided by the council and the council providing clear plastic sacks for a wide range of recyclable materials. The council even recycles the roadside sweepings that it collects. “The service we offer is easy to


use and is popular with residents. Our data suggests that 98% of households in Ceredigion take part in the recycling collection service at least some of the time, which is a fantastic achievement,” said Huw. Ceredigion Council’s adjustments


in the way they deal with residual black bag waste have also contributed to their overall recycling performance. After black bags are collected from residents, in the past they were sent to a landfill site; however, recently Ceredigion has been working in


partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council and most of the county’s residual waste is now sent to a power plant in Sweden where the waste is burned to produce heat and electricity. The ash produced as then recycled


15 News


Ceredigion tops the league tables in recycling waste CEREDIGION has come out


council’s recycling collection services are the most effective in reducing carbon emissions in Wales – though it was a close run with last year’s league leaders, Powys, coming in just 1kg per person behind. Councillor Alun Williams,


and this had helped to improve Ceredigion’s recycling performance. No toxic emissions are released during the process and it is one of the most efficient power plants in Europe. Dealing with non-recyclable waste in this way is more beneficial to the environment than landfilling the waste. Ceredigion’s


recycling


achievement is not only great for the county but also great for the planet too, as recycling saves greenhouse gas emissions as it prevents waste being sent to rot in landfills or being burned in incinerators. It reduces the need for the energy intensive extraction of raw materials. Ceredigion Council have been


announced as number one in Wales in the annual Recycling Carbon Index. The league table, prepared by Eunomia Research and Consulting, calculates the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that are prevented as a result of local residents’ recycling efforts. Saving a total of 104kg of carbon dioxide per person in the area, the


Portfolio Holder for Waste, said: “We’re very proud of what local residents have helped us achieve, and it’s great to be at the top of the recycling league and the Carbon Index. The result shows that the effort that residents make to separate waste really pays dividends when it comes to producing carbon savings.” The Council isn’t stopping here


though. As Huw Morgan explained: “Last year’s performance was fantastic but there is still room for improvement. As a small rural authority, we sometimes struggle to provide the services our residents expect and deserve. We’re working hard to improve the waste service and that will need the efforts of our staff, contractors and residents. We’ll need to be more flexible in the future in order to make the most of what we have. We’re always looking for new opportunities to recycle more and reduce costs. I’d like to thank everyone involved in getting us to where we are and to continue with the good work so that we can recycle even more this year.”


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E I F I I T CHENS


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