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Councils strike deal on waste PEMBROKESHIRE and

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Bin and gone: councils to ship waste overseas.

Bin and gone: councils to ship waste overseas.

Ceredigion County Councils have struck a new deal to process and export residual waste overseas.

The innovative approach will save each council over £350,000 a year – and also create 11 jobs at Pembroke Dock.

It will also benefit the environment at home and abroad.

Under the new contract which the two councils have signed with Potters Waste Management, waste from the two counties that cannot be recycled will be exported to Sweden.

There it will be used in a high efficiency power station to produce both electricity and heat for local Swedish households.

Cllr Huw George, Pembrokeshire’s Cabinet Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services said the new contract would be a massive benefit to the county.

“It will create jobs, make savings and ensure an environmentally improved alternative to landfill for the disposal of our black bag waste,” he said.

The new contract starts on March 1 this year with the first shipment expected to take place at the beginning of June.

Waste collected by the two counties will first be processed at sites at Pembroke Port and in Lampeter to remove certain recyclable materials.

It will then be shredded, baled and wrapped at Pembroke Port to create a Refuse Derived Fuel which can be shipped overseas.

The contract has been let under an innovative framework contract that Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion have created with advice from private sector partners, Eunomia.

Under the framework, any other council can buy waste disposal services from one of seven suppliers, including two UK based and five export solutions.

The framework contract is available to all other councils in Wales and Pembrokeshire County Council has already had interest from a number of other authorities about joining.

Richard Brown, Pembrokeshire Head of Environment and Civil Contingencies, said the contract provided an opportunity for achieving cost savings for the County Council while also creating jobs and boosting recycling rates.

“It provides a flexible, low-risk, value-for-money approach that enables us to divert waste from landfill in the short term, but avoids committing too much waste to incineration in the long term as recycling rates escalate,” he said.

He added that using the excess capacity in Swedish incinerators allowed the waste to be disposed of cheaply, while the use of combined heat and power technology enabled far more energy to be extracted from the waste compared with most UK incinerators, making it both a green and economical solution.

Kevin Hobbs, Short Sea Director at the Port of Milford Haven said. “This is an excellent demonstration of effective collaboration between Pembrokeshire County Council and the Port of Milford Haven, in a scheme that will benefit the county’s ratepayers and create jobs within the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone too. It’s also a great example of how having a well serviced port in the County can connect the region with new markets far away.”

Debbie Potter, Operations Director of Potters Waste Management said the company was delighted to have won the contract: “This is a new venture for us and we are delighted to be working with Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion County Councils on this innovative scheme to make best user of waste, while also creating employment opportunities,” she said.

“The framework contract gives us the opportunity to work with all other councils in Wales to help them secure savings and meet their financial and performance demands.”

The contract takes place against a background of increased financial and performance pressure on Welsh local authorities over their management of their municipal waste.

Authorities face landfill tax of £80 per tonne, fines for any biodegradable waste that is landfilled above a set allowance, and challenging statutory recycling targets.

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Energy Efficiency scheme to come to Cardigan

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If you live in a cold home in the town of Cardigan, your home may be eligible for a heating upgrade, wall or loft insulation or solar panels all free of charge under Welsh Government’s Arbed scheme.

Ceredigion County Council are working in partnership with Arbed am Byth, who manage the scheme on behalf of Welsh Government, to address fuel poverty in the County by improving the energy efficiency and reducing the Carbon Dioxide emissions from our homes. Cardigan has been identified as an area for a potential scheme. This scheme is funded by Welsh Government and European Union ERDF funds.

A cold home can have a negative impact on a person’s everyday health and wellbeing. Living in an energy inefficient home tends to have higher fuel costs due to heat loss as a result of a lack of insulation. The aim of the scheme is to make homes warmer, more comfortable and more affordable to heat. This will be achieved through installing a range of appropriate energy efficiency measures.

Homes in Cardigan are currently being assessed to see if they are eligible for free energy saving measures. If your home is located within the designated boundary of the scheme and is either owner occupied or rented from a private landlord the property qualifies for a home assessment. Every home within the designated area is eligible to apply regardless of the financial situation of the residents living in the home.

During the assessment visit the surveyor will establish whether the home qualifies for energy efficiency measures and which measures may be appropriate. The assessment is free and the home owner is not under any obligation to proceed with the scheme. Following the assessment, Arbed and Byth can advise what specific measures are applicable your home.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member with responsibility for Housing. He said, “We are pleased to work in partnership with Arbed am Byth to ensure that our county’s residents live in comfortable homes. This ensures better health and wellbeing for our people. This is a good opportunity for the people of Cardigan town to take advantage of improving their homes.”

Working with Ceredigion County Council, Arbed am Byth hope to support around 150 homes through the scheme. The Managing Director of Arbed am Byth, informs us that “the Cardigan Arbed scheme is a fully funded scheme which will help residents reduce their heating bills and improve the efficiency of their homes. It is a great opportunity to get much needed help at no cost, but the scheme can only address 150 homes, so I urge residents to apply quickly.”

Delivering a home energy efficiency scheme while the coronavirus pandemic is still with us is challenging. Arbed am Byth’s Service Excellence Manager, Jordan Price said, “We have introduced very robust measures to ensure we can work safely in your home through the Covid-19 pandemic. Our assessors and installers complete daily symptom checkers, work in bubbles, wear gloves and masks at all times and sanitise regularly. They always call ahead to check nobody has symptoms before they come to your home. While in the house, they will ensure social distancing.”

For further information on the scheme contact Arbed am Byth at info@arbedambyth.wales or call them 03300414647.

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Connect to Kindness Calendar launch

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Showing acts of kindness is now more important than ever, and this is why a kindness calendar has been launched as part of the Connect to Kindness campaign in Ceredigion.

Connect to Kindness is a regional campaign that was launched in July 2020 across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. The campaign aims to create more understanding about the benefit and impact of kindness to ourselves and others in our community.

As part of the kindness calendar, members of the public are asked to send in their photographs, artwork, or even prose of poetry, or anything that represents kindness and its power. The chosen piece will then be included in the calendar for a particular month in 2021.

Entries can be sent in via post or e-mail and must be submitted by noon on 22 November 2020. Full details can be found at: https://connecttokindness.wales/calendar/.

Cyra Shimell, “We hope the calendar will bring some fun at this unprecedented time. It will be interesting to see peoples various interpretations of what kindness means to them. Get as creative at you like!”

If you would like more information about this campaign, visit https://www.connecttokindness.wales/. You can also take a look at the Facebook page ‘Cysylltu â Charedigrwydd Ceredigion – Connect to Kindness Ceredigion’ to see some stories of random acts of kindness.

For more details contact Cyra Shimell, Community Connector Plus Development Ceredigion on cyra.shimell@ceredigion.gov.uk.

Share the message, as it all starts with one person, YOU!

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Business offer WG help in ‘non-essential’ shopping row

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THIS morning (Tuesday, October 27), the Wales Retail Consortium, CBI Wales and Association of Convenience stores presented the Welsh Government joint recommendation to resolve the confusion over non-essential items. The three industry bodies’ statement expresses the hope that the Welsh Government, ‘will agree to these recommendations and the people of Wales can refocus all their energies on respecting the Fire Break’. The recommendations come in response to confused and confusing messaging from the Welsh Government, which allowed its public health message to be drowned out over the weekend by rows over whether toasters, Lee Childs novels, and size 16 jeans were essential items for customers. The confusion was not helped by a mistaken tweet by supermarket giant Tesco which claimed women’s period products were not essential items when they are and always have been. The WRC, CBI Wales and ACS believe their recommendations will fulfil retail’s role in tackling the spread of the virus while allowing for discretion to be used on an individual basis – as recommended by Health Minister Vaughan Gething in a tense press conference yesterday, http://pembrokeshire-herald.com/61929/welsh-health-minister-defends-retail-restrictions/. The business bodies recommend:
  • To limit the spread of the virus and allow for individual discretion, retailers will prominently display Welsh Government approved signage in front of known non-essential items and in communal areas. The signage will make clear the government’s regulation and the need to abide by it.
  • This message will be reinforced through in-store announcements and social media messaging. Advising customers to put off non-essential purchases
  • We recommend the individual customer is trusted to make their own decision as to whether a product is non-essential or not, taking into account the notices displayed throughout the store and their immediate needs
  • If the customer goes ahead with the purchase of the item the final liability ought to rest with the customer
  • Retailers will remove special in-store promotional displays of non-essential items in order to minimise browsing and avoid triggering a non-essential purchase.
  • These recommendations would mean non-essential items are not removed from shelves – or cordoned off in stores – but large notices are placed in front of the products and in communal spaces informing customers of the Welsh Government’s regulations and the Welsh public are trusted to make the right decision.
They also say they ‘look forward to engaging with Welsh Government again this morning and we hope consensus can be reached’.
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