CALLS have been made to keep communal recycling facilities, especially as there are continued problems in parts of Powys with late recycling collections.
Cllr Karl Lewis has posed a question to the council’s cabinet member in charge of recycling, Cllr Jackie Charlton, asking for a rethink on the decision to take the communal bins away.
Cllr Lewis said: “With the ongoing staffing issues Powys County Council are experiencing with refuse collections would it not be wise to call for a temporary halt in removing communal cardboard and glass recycling bins from community areas.
“Christmas is just around the corner and households typically have more to recycle than in any other periods.
“Winter is typically a time of increased staffing pressures from illness coupled with the chances of winter storms where staff may be prioritised elsewhere which would add to the ongoing issues with missed collections.”
Cllr Lewis pointed out that residents living in parts of his ward would face a round trip of over 30 miles to use the recycling facilities in Newtown.
Cllr Lewis added: “I would urge the portfolio holder to hold off removing the communal cardboard bin in Llandinam and other areas of Powys and reinstate the glass communal bin until staffing issues are under control.”
Cabinet member for a greener Powys, Cllr Jackie Charlton stressed that cardboard recycling banks are not being taken away.
Cllr Charlton said: “Cardboard banks are not being removed and there is no intention to do so.
“These are very well used, and this has particularly been the case since Covid and the increase in online shopping.
“The banks that have been removed are the glass and paper banks as these are materials that are recycled at the kerbside.
“We do appreciate that there have been considerable issues in the north due to the difficulty of recruiting staff.
“We do have a rolling recruitment process with which we have had some success and will be taking on additional staff shortly, including drivers.
“This should alleviate the problems, but we are not being complacent and will continue to monitor the situation.
“Leaving the glass banks on site or even reinstating them would actually compound the problem as we then need drivers to empty them which are better used on the kerbside rounds.
“Furthermore, the specialist vehicles used have gone beyond their effective life and are causing significant issues and cost in terms of maintaining them. ”
Removing the glass and paper banks were part of proposals for £7.7 million in cuts, savings, and income generation that the council needs to make to ensure this year’s budget finishes in a balanced position at the end of next March.
Taking the facilities away would save the council £30,000.
At the end of August, Powys confirmed they would start taking the bins away.