Recycle your pumpkins with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Biogen

Recycle your pumpkins with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Biogen

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is asking its residents to ‘go green’ and fill their food waste caddies with all their ghastly party food leftovers and slimy pumpkin guts!

A recent WRAP* kerbside black bag analysis of Rhondda Cynon Taf highlighted some scarily bad news, as black bag waste in RCT contained 39% of food waste items that could have been recycled! This is well above the “all Wales” figure of 25%!

Wasted food accounts for a staggering 8–10% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst some items are inedible, like peelings and egg shells, they can still be recycled as part of RCT’s FREE, weekly food waste recycling scheme.

Sign up for food waste recycling at www.rctcbc.gov.uk/foodwaste

Partnership Involvement of RCT Council with Biogen: A FOI request

Question to RCTC. In light of the partnership established between RCT Council and Biogen for the Biogen AD plant at the Bryn Pica site, I would like to request information regarding the share of profit from the anaerobic digestion and composting operations. Specifically, what percentage of the profit generated from these operations is retained by RCT Council for the benefit of council taxpayers?

A reply from RCTC, “The contract between Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Biogen (Bryn Pica) Ltd., for the treatment of food waste at the Bryn Pica Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Plant is not, in the contractual sense a ‘Partnership Agreement’. The Council pays a gate fee for the processing of food waste collected at the kerbside and does not receive any income as a result. The Plant itself is owned and operated by Biogen and the Council has no input into any aspect of its operation. In this sense the AD Plant is operated as a separate commercial enterprise. The Council does work closely with Biogen to ensure the ongoing success of the operation, however this is limited to ensuring that food waste delivered to the plant is of a suitable composition for efficient treatment.

In 2013 the authority was granted for Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC to enter into the contract.

The taxpayer pays the gate fees

Council has no input into any aspect of its operation?

Other than supply the basic ingredient for the plant to operate

Each year, millions of pumpkins are sold in the UK, 99% of which are used to carve into lanterns.

Thousands more children across the County Borough are again preparing to keep up the tradition by carving pumpkins, ducking apples and participating in spooky activities at home.

Whilst carving pumpkins is fun, the Council reminds residents to recycle pumpkins and Ducking Apple remnants in their food waste caddy, ready for weekly kerbside collection after Halloween!

The flesh of the pumpkin could also be used as the main ingredient in a tasty dish like pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie or roasted pumpkin risotto. Pumpkin can also be used as a cheap and tasty alternative to sweet potato – find more recipes at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com.

As a nation, Wales is scarily good at recycling, with current recycling rates placing us as third best in the world!

From April 2022 to April 2023, Rhondda Cynon Taf residents recycled over 56,534 tonnes. The scary news is that over 3,439 additional tonnes had to be thrown away due to contamination – that would have resulted in a further 6% recycled and a wasted recycling effort!

A staggering 11,400 tonnes of food waste was collected during the same period – BUT over 419 tonnes were contaminated and had to be thrown away! That’s nearly 4% more food waste that could have been recycled!

The good news is that out of the food waste that was recycled, enough energy was collected to power around 1100 homes! Food waste truly is power!

If there is one thing we can all look to do better, it’s to scare the contamination away and ensure we don’t waste our recycling efforts. Leftover dishwater will do the trick and give a big treat to the planet – rinse items in leftover dishwater before you place items into the clear bags!

That one tin, with the leftover bean guts (juice),

That one tin, with the leftover bean guts (juice), could see the whole bag of recycling wasted – or even worse, it could ruin an entire lorry-load once collected. It’s also really important to know what, where and how to recycle your household items – luckily in RCT, there is an A-Z searchable online guide available 24/7 for residents to use!

A fun new game is also now available for little ghosts and witches to test their wicked recycling knowledge over half term and discover what can and can’t be recycled and where each item needs to be placed – visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/RecyclingGameOn. There are also some cool crafts to try out, all made from recycled material – visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/RecyclingEducation. 

In Rhondda Cynon Taf we are taking MIGHTY actions to recycle and fight against ghastly consequences of climate change. In July this year the Council changed its black bag and wheeled bin collections to three-weekly in a bid to increase recycling rates and reduce carbon emissions! So far the early recycling rates for dry and food are all on the up and overall black bag waste is going down – which means that residents are taking up the challenge ‘Let’s UP Our Recycling GAME’ and ‘Let’s Hit the TARGET! If we all continue our MIGHTY efforts then RCT is back on the winning recycling track! 

The Council also introduced sustainable and reusable green sacks for green waste collections in November 2021 and this has helped the Council to reduce its overall plastic usage by millions of clear bags annually. These changes to the green waste collection service and the forthcoming changes to a bookable service for the Winter Green Collections are helping to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint and bring us closer to hitting the Welsh Government recycling target of 70% by 2024/25.

If residents haven’t registered for the Green Waste Recycling service, but would like to start getting collections, registering for the service is quick and easy and can be done in a few minutes at www.rctcbc.gov.uk/Greenwaste or by calling 01443 425001. Residents will then receive their TWO FREE sacks to start green waste recycling. All they will need to do then is simply continue putting their green waste recycling, including any leaves the collect in the GREEN re-usable sack and click or call to book their collection when they need it!

Halloween is also a great time to clear the skeletons out of your cupboards and get rid of your dusty old relics!

Why not clear out the garage or spare room and raise some items from the dead? Give them a new lease of life by either taking them to The Shed in Llantrisant, Aberdare or Treherbert, or recycle them, in one of the Community Recycling Centres across Rhondda Cynon Taf.

By jumping on your broom and taking your old items to one of the Community Recycling Centres (CRCs), you will ensure that these items are recycled and turned into new treasures! You never know, your old cardboard toy box could be the next magazine you buy. You will also clear some space in your house.

Remember to sort through your waste before dropping it at the Centre, as mixed items are not accepted.

All Centres are manned, and the attendants are happy to advise residents on recycling and assist them in disposing of their household materials.

Remember from Monday October 30th the CRCs will be operating under winter opening hours – 8am to 5.30pm.

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure said: “The Halloween season is a great time for families to have fun, although it is still important that we remember to think green and recycle all the extra waste that we might create.

“The support of our householders towards our food waste kerbside recycling has been amazing so far. I want to thank each resident of our County Borough for doing their bit.

“The great news is that more and more of our residents are thinking green daily, and the latest figures are a testament to this. We’re asking all the little (and big) witches and ghouls to recycle all their scary waste this Halloween.”

Recycling in Rhondda Cynon Taf couldn’t be easier, with a weekly, unlimited recycling collection and a wide variety of places, across the County Borough to pick up your recycling bags from! You can sign up to food waste, green waste and nappy recycling online. In addition to this, ALL Community Recycling Centres across the County Borough are open 7 days a week from 8am – 7.30pm (March-October) 8am – 5.30pm (November to March). 

On average, 80% of household waste is recyclable – that’s 8 out of every 10 bags of waste created by households being recycled and turned in to something new.  

For more information on recycling in RCT follow us on facebook and twitter or visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/recycling.

 The Council has issued the following tips for a ‘Green Halloween’

Avoid using plastic as much as possible

If you are planning a Halloween party, do not send out paper invitations

Avoid using disposable plates at Halloween parties

After your party, place any food waste into your caddy for collection

Make Halloween costumes by reusing old clothes, buying from charity shops or taking part in a swap shop.

Use the flesh of the pumpkin as the main ingredient in a tasty dish like pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie or roasted pumpkin risotto. Pumpkin can also be used as a cheap and tasty alternative to sweet potato – www.lovefoodhatewaste.com.

Even pumpkins seeds can be put to good use – toast them in a dry pan or roast them in the oven and store them in an airtight jar. They make a great healthy topping for soups, pastas, muesli or salads.

Once you’ve finished with your pumpkin shell don’t forget to compost it or alternatively place on top of your food waste caddie for collection.

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