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Ceredigion & Rhondda Cynon Taf Council responded to our recent article in relation to Amgen Cymru and associated waste management

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has been the subject of some bad publicity in recent weeks because just one recycling bag was found in Malaysia bearing the name of the council.

 

Following on from our report where Rhondda Cynon Taf Council send waste to Cardiff to be incinerated but allow other councils to dump waste at Bryn Pica Llwydcoed we have contacted Ceredigion Council and asked them a few questions as to why they sand their household waste 75 miles to be dumped in Cynon Valley.

 

Ceredigion Council has responded in part but the council is refusing to disclose the amount of waste they have sent to Cynon Valley, they say it would cost too much to provide details. This is a ploy used by councils if they don’t want the public to know what’s going on it’s a legal way of a council not supplying the information (a get out of Jail Card if you like). It is strange that supplying a little information cost to much but transporting loads of household waste over 75 miles away is cost effective.

 

Question and answers to and from Ceredigion Council below

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 26th April 2019.

 

The information you have requested is as follows:

 

1.    Why did CCC transport waste 75 miles away to Aberdare when you have waste sites in your area?

Ceredigion County Council does not have an open landfill site in Ceredigion.

 

2.    Why CCC transport full recycling bags mixed in with general waste to landfill at Aberdare?

There was an agreement for the disposal of residual waste.  The only time recycling bags would have been missed in with the residual would have been due to contamination of the recycling bag.

 

3.    How many waste sites operate in the Ceredigion County Council area?

There are no open landfill sites in Ceredigion.

 

4.    Please provide the name and address of the contractor who transported Ceredigion County Council waste and recycled waste from the Ceredigion County Council area to the Bryn Pica waste site Llwydcoed Rhondda Cynon Taf?

Ceredigion County Council used 2 local hauliers to transport the residual waste:   S Jones, Penrhiw Stores, Bethania, Ceredigion

LAS Recycling, Tregaron Road, Lampeter

 

5.    Please supply a copy of all waste transfer documents used for transporting all waste and recycled waste loads from the Ceredigion County Council area to the Bryn Pica waste site Llwydcoed Rhondda Cynon Taf?

Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 makes provision for public authorities to refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing with them would exceed the appropriate limit, which for the Local Authority, is set at £450.  This equates to 18 hours of officer time at a rate of £25 per hour.

 

In order to provide you with the information on the scale that you have requested, it would require an officer to manually search through each waste transfer document and weighbridge ticket to determine whether it is related to the Bryn Pica Waste site, Llwydcoed, Rhondda Cynon Taf.  We estimate that it will take us in excess of the applicable time limit to determine the appropriate material and locate, retrieve and extract the information in reference to your request. Therefore, this part of your request will not be processed further.

 

6.    Please supply weighbridge tickets for waste loads from the Ceredigion County Council area to the Bryn Pica waste site Llwydcoed Rhondda Cynon Taf?

Please see response to question 5.

 

We hope that this information will be of assistance but if you have any complaints in relation to this FOI response the Council does operate an internal appeals procedure. If you wish to utilise this procedure then please write to Mr Alun Williams, Cyngor Sir Ceredigion County Council, Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron, Ceredigion, SA46 0PA or via email through foi@ceredigion.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team

 

If you have read Rhondda Cynon Taf Council responded to our recent article in relation to Amgen Cymru and associated waste management you would be aware AberdareOnline were informed that some vehicles entering the Bryn Pica site and bypassing the weighbridge in the light of this information we put a few questions to the anonymous RCT Council Spokesperson, looking at the response and from previous emails I have received it is highly possible the answers came from RCT Co-Opted Director Nigel Wheeler, there are a number of interesting answers to the questions presented.

 

Question and answers to and from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council below

 

Below in red are the answers to your queries as requested:

 

You would be aware Landfill Disposals Tax is paid when waste is disposed into landfill and is charged by weight if the vehicle entering the site carrying the waste bypasses the weighbridge how can Amgen Cymru determine the weight of the household waste to pay the landfill tax?

 

This is inaccurate 100% of wastes entering the Bryn Pica site are weighed on arrival. Amgen Cymru weighbridge is directly located to the main access gate on arrival to site and all vehicles/contractors must report to the weighbridge before entering any permitted tipping areas.

 

I understand Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Act 2017 CHAPTER 3 EXEMPT DISPOSALS Multiple disposals of material at the same site but RCTC now use the Cardiff incinerator for RCT household waste. – 

 

Landfill tax would not apply to any waste entering site for future onward disposal to Cardiff Incinerator.

 

I understand the tax will be payable by landfill site operators who must weigh the waste to determine how much the fees cost the landfill operator who then passes on these costs to waste operators through their gate fee.  –

 

All wastes entering site will be recorded against Amgen Cymru weighbridge system, inclusive and accounting for landfill taxation where applicable. This is reported to HMRC and currently the WRA annually for review.

 

Without weighing all waste that comes onto the Bryn Pica a waste site operated by Amgen Cymru the waste site trading name of Cynon Valley Waste Disposal Company Ltd owned by RCT Council has no accurate records, therefore, how can Natural Resources Wales possibly scrutinised and audited something that did not happen? –

 

There are no scenarios currently whereby wastes entering site are not weighed. All wastes received and removed from site are accurately recorded against Amgen Cymru weighbridge package and reported to NRW quarterly for review. 

 

The legislation is clear all waste must be weighed by the site operator, in this case, Amgen Cymru as it enters the site before being tipped that is correct is it not? –

 

Correct

 

The Council would be aware of any business that produces, handles or disposes of controlled hazardous waste has the statutory obligation to ensure it is managed correctly under Duty of Care legislation. –

 

Amgen Cymru is a registered NON Hazardous landfill site. Duty of Care legislation would be applicable for all Non-hazardous wastes entering site.

 

 

The point raised the site now has 18 years of life left back in 2008, your Amgen RCT Co-Opted Director Nigel Wheeler said, the site had 20 years of life left was that correct? I am aware your recycled waste has increased but can you explain how the large deficit in the airspace of the Bryn Pica waste site came about in just 11 years? –

 

 

The lifespan of the landfill facility at Bryn Pica is dependent on the rate of waste inputs. These vary at any particular time. The Bryn Pica site is currently receiving significantly lower volumes of waste when compared to 2008 and therefore the estimated lifespan was shorter. 

 

Void-space is the theoretical volume of waste that is permitted for disposal within the approved landfill design. A ground survey undertaken Nov-18 illustrated that the site has approximately 2,895,945 cubic meters of permitted void-space. 

 

Recycling participation throughout RCT continues to improve and the Council has adopted a policy of the diversion of waste from landfill. This is projected to continue well into the future and as commercial businesses adopt more sustainable waste management practices, the requirement for the landfill will reduce, thus further extending the life of the facility.

 

Cardigan Council has a number of sites and closer than the Bryn Pica waste site within the Cardigan area, I am aware you promote Amgen Cymru or Cynon Valley Waste Disposal Company Ltd as an independent company but the directors Nigel Wheeler and David Paul Griffiths who is also company secretary both being Co–Opted Directors. –

 

Amgen Cymru is a private Ltd company and will therefore seek commercial management of wastes where possible.

 

In the light of Global Warming do you as a council who are ultimately responsible for the waste site believe it is acceptable for you as a council to promote and except waste transported from over 75 miles away for profit when waste sites closer to Ceredigion area would have sufficed? –

 

This would be for response by Ceredigion Council.

 

The £50,000 fund run by Viridor an Energy Recovery Facility in Cardiff the company Viridor operates over 320 facilities across the UK.

You failed to address why residents of Rhondda Cynon, Taf do not benefit from the Viridor Community Fund when the RCT residents help pay (through council tax) towards producing the electricity the incinerator generates can you explain? –

 

£2000 was recently made available towards the Education center at Bryn Pica directly from the fund.

 

I believe RCT Council also allows Newport Council, Merthyr Council and Powys Council to use the Bryn Pica waste site is this correct? How many other councils use the BrynPica waste site through private contractors? –

 

No other waste authorities currently utilize Bryn Pica site for landfill disposal with the exception of MTCBC during contractual outages at Cardiff Incinerator. Newport and MTCBC bring their food waste to the AD Plant

 

Your Biogen’s anaerobic digestion plant sited at the Bryn Pica waste site appears to be popular with the waste it produces as a fertilizer is this fertilizer available to Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Taxpayers? Is just available to organisations outside the RCT area?

 

The Bryn Pica Anaerobic Digestion Plant is operated by a private contractor and the Council has no influence on the end destination of the fertilizer products. We understand that the fertilizer is applied to agricultural land under strict regulation / supervision by Natural Resources Wales and the Animal Health Agency. It is not envisaged that distribution of the fertilizer among householder or community groups would comply with the relevant legal obligations placed on the producer.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

An RCT Council Spokesperson

 

We have now written to Ceredigion Council and asked for an internal review in the age of almost everything being computerised the volume and loads of waste transported to Bryn Pica waste site in Cynon Valley should be easy data to achieve without to much cost but up to now Ceredigion Council do not what us to know this information?