Thousands spent on spreading waste message
THOUSANDS of pounds are to be spent in Neath Port Talbot on a marketing and engagement plan aimed at raising recycling rates.
The authority's Environment and highways scrutiny committee and cabinet board approved the proposal, which covers the period of 2013-16.
In a report presented to members, Mike Roberts, head of streetcare, said the council had challenging statutory targets for recycling and composting in its waste strategy, Towards Zero Waste.
"Failure to meet these targets could result in significant fines," he said.
He added that the council currently operated an extensive recycling service at the kerbside.
But, he said, while many residents are recycling waste, there are still too many who are not.
"The council's waste strategy was reviewed in April 2013 and actions agreed, subject to funding, to improve the council's performance," added Mr Roberts.
"This included more marketing and promotion, which was considered a priority by members of cabinet scrutiny committee.
He told members £100,000 would be needed for each year over the next two years, to se the plan in motion.
Last week, it was announced that residents in the county were getting greener.
The authority increased its recycling rate for the first six months of the year (April — September) exceeding 55 per cent compared with 51 per cent for the same period last year.
The Welsh Government's target it for all councils to hit 58 per cent by 2016. If targets aren't hit, fines will be issues to authorities.
Councillor Eddie Jones questioned if fines being passed on to residents had been considered any further.
Mr Roberts said he believed Cardiff Council was already adopting a policy of the more you throw away, the more you pay. He added that if targets weren't achieved in Neath Port Talbot, they would have to look at something similar.
Councillor Steve Hunt welcomed the communication and engagement plan, but added: "Are we going to have reports back about the effectiveness of it?"
Mr Roberts said second year funding would depend on how the plan had worked in its first year.
Members approved the plan.