Cllr Colin Evans (Lab), member of the council's Executive Board, says that all the council's hard work is paying off, while the Director of Technical Services, Richard Workman, is delighted that Carmarthenshire is performing so well.
The Resource article can be found here, and to view the league table click on "United Countries" at the bottom of the piece.
As always with statistics it depends which end of the kaleidoscope you are looking through, but in terms of the percentage of household waste which is recycled in Wales, Denbighshire (58.1%) and Monmouthshire (58.4%) both outperform Carmarthenshire (56.8%).
The statistics relate to 2012/13, and the Resource article notes that for the first time since it began compiling its league table, a majority of councils in the UK saw a decrease in their recycling rates. Compared with most other councils, however, Carmarthenshire was doing a good job.
Coming up to date there is probably less cause for celebratory press releases and back slapping.
At the beginning of this year the council announced that it would be terminating its contract with the AWS household waste recycling centre at Llangadog. The site serves a large area in the north-east of the county, and is the only waste recycling centre not to be run by CWM Environmental, the council's wholly-owned subsidiary.
The aim of the closure was to save £250,000, although local campaigners pointed out that the net saving would probably be rather less as it was likely to lead to an increase in fly tipping.
The centre also employs 10 people, and considering the service that is provided and the benefits to the community and the environment, that is a bargain compared with some of the other job creation schemes championed by the council (Towy Community Church's bowling alley being just one). Somehow, it is doubtful that Kevin Madge will be very keen on telling people in his area how he approved a scheme to cut jobs.
The remarkable thing about the Llangadog centre is that it achieves recycling rates in the range of 80-85%. Responding to a letter from fellow blogger Pat Racher Dodd, the council's Technical Services Director, Richard Workman, said, “We recycle in excess of 55% of what we collect which is above the government target.”
In response to protests, the council eventually backed down and agreed to extend the contract for the Llangadog site for another year, albeit on amended conditions. Whether it survives next year's round of cuts remains to be seen.
Colin Evans's message seems to be that recycling is OK as long as the council can tick the right boxes in government surveys, but anything more than that is a waste.
Response from John Rees, Managing Director of CWM Environmental
There is an obvious thread in a number of your most recent blogs linking CWM Environmental to Carmarthenshire County Council.
Yes the Company is owned by Carmarthenshire and ultimately they can decide on its fate. The thinly veiled innuendo of day to day control and influence however, could not be further from the truth.
We survive on being commercial, competitive (speak to Ceredigion on the collection and processing of their kerbside recyclate) and reinvesting. A straight forward search on the Company would show we do not have any Councillors on the Board. There are independent non-executive Board Directors who are appointed by the Council to oversee governance and compliance with company law and that’s it!
The real point you air brush out is whether services provided to the Council do actually provide value for money from any contractor and do they contribute towards the delivery of the waste strategy .In CWM’s case all the Company’s investment in infrastructure does that. In the last 5 years this has exceeded £3m .This investment would otherwise fall on the ratepayers of Carmarthenshire, what other contractor does that?
In the meantime we employ over 60 local people and through our Environmental Fund grant aided over 80 projects throughout the County to date, what other contractor does that?
Oh! And in your ‘filltir sgwar’, 9 projects totalling over £200,000, with another one to consider in the May round of bids. So it’s not just about the one project in Johnstown you harp on about.
John Rees (1 of 62 employees of the Company who care for what we do and achieve in Carmarthenshire)
Cneifiwr writes I would like to thank Mr Rees for getting in touch and putting his point of view across. I would also be very pleased to publish a list of the projects which have benefited from the Environmental Fund.