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.
Police call for vigilance to report illegal raves
DYFED-POWYS POLICE is asking farmers and local landowners to be on the alert over the next few months for warning signs of any illegal gatherings planned for their land over the summer.
Gatherings – such as illegal raves – can cause considerable anxiety to the community and if they are not dealt with swiftly, they are difficult to stop or otherwise control, due often to the sheer numbers of persons involved and the safety aspects surrounding breaking up such an event.
Superintendent Robyn Mason said: “There is little doubt that these type of events are very well planned, organised and that local knowledge is important in drawing down the main group to a particular ‘vulnerable’ field, or area of land which has been targeted previously as a suitable venue.
“Farmers, landowners and local communities are encouraged to report any suspicious activity immediately to the Police; this may be an unusual numbers of vehicles, especially camper vans, vans or trucks in the locality, illegal trespassers who may be doing ‘recce’ of sites in advance of the event.
“I can assure local communities that Police will take the appropriate action to deter illegal gatherings and deal robustly with any criminal offences discovered or disclosed.”
Members of the public are also urged to be vigilant of persons who approach landowners or enquiring for land, in the guise of hiring for apparently acceptable activities such as gymkhanas and scouts/guides events.
Please contact Police on 101 with reports on any suspicious activity.
Wheelchair-bound man jailed for child sex offences
A CHILD sex offender from Ystrad Meurig has been jailed despite being wheelchair-bound.
Dean Harper, aged 61, had distributed child pornography and tried to entice a 10-year-old girl into sexually abusing herself and sending him photographs.
Harper, of Sisial y Pin, Ffair Rhos, admitted downloading 317 indecent images of children in the most serious category A, 400 in category B and 500 in C.
He also admitted sending images in all three categories to a third party, all on a single day in October, 2016.
Harper also admitted attempting to incite the girl into sexual activity knowing that she was only 10-years-old.
Kevin Jones, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that the distribution of the images alerted the police who raided Harper’s home and removed computer equipment.
An examination of his internet activity revealed he had made contact with a girl via social media and swapped messages with her.
The judge, Mr Recorder Peter Griffiths told Harper his offending was serious and a jail sentence was inevitable despite his disability.
Harper was jailed for a total of two years and ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for 10 years.
He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order which will restrict his contact with young people and his internet activity after his release from prison.
Royals set to visit Ceredigion during summer visit
AS PART of their annual summer visit to Wales, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting Ceredigion next month.
From July 2-6, Charles and Camilla will tour the country, undertaking over 20 engagements across the country.
On July 3, The Prince of Wales will visit Dà Mhìle Distillery, Llandysul, the first organic distillery in the UK approved by the Soil Association, where he was previously gifted the thousandth bottle to be produced by Dà Mhìle.
The Prince of Wales will also visit St. Gwenog’s Church, Llanwenog, and view their unique carvings created by Joseph Reubens, a Belgian World War One refugee. His Royal Highness will also meet members of their local community.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s fourteenth annual Summer visit to Wales will feature celebrations to mark the 70th Anniversary of The National Health Service and the marking the 150th anniversary of the Heart of Wales railway line amongst other events.
A Clarence House spokesperson said: “The Prince and The Duchess are really looking forward to their annual summer visit to Wales where they will be celebrating key anniversaries for the National Health Service, the Heart of Wales railway line and the 90th anniversary of Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisation. Their Royal Highnesses relish the opportunity to meet members of the community who are making a difference to Welsh life.”
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