VIDEO: No decision on fines for missed recycling targets
WELSH ministers are yet to decide if councils including Neath Port Talbot are fined for missing the first ever statutory recycling targets in Wales.
Provisional figures indicate the authority, along with Swansea Council, recycled 48 per cent of its municipal waste in the year ending March 31, 2013, which is four per cent below the Welsh Government target.
Welsh councils and householders have come a long way in getting into recycling habits, but Cardiff Bay bosses can now impose a £200 fine for every tonne of waste exceeding the target.
Council chiefs everywhere hope this will reinforce the message that residents should recycle as much as possible, especially as the targets are heading upwards.
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A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: "We will shortly receive more detailed information from Natural Resources Wales, the body that monitors recycling performance, on local authority compliance with our statutory targets.
"Welsh ministers will consider the report in detail before determining whether any penalties need to be applied."
Neath Port Talbot Council has been steadily increasing its recycling rates in recent years, but a significant chunk of its residents could do more.
Speaking at council meeting in July, head of streetcare Mike Roberts, said 40 per cent of people in the county were not recycling, leading to the council falling short of targets.
"We would be looking at a fine of around £550,000," he said at the time. "In this difficult climate it is money down the drain."
The council is currently facing a £21 million-plus funding gap over five years.
"We either tackle recycling and get the figure up or we will face the statutory fines," said Mr Roberts.