Letter to PCC: North Powys Bulk Recycling Facility in Abermule

Letter sent to Dear Cllr. Heulwen & Cllr. Rosemarie in regards to the North Powys Bulk Recycling Facility in Abermule

August 2020

Dear Cllr. Heulwen & Cllr. Rosemarie,

I write to you once again with regards to the Abermule Bulk Recycling facility.

I was pleased to recently have the opportunity to speak with officers, Ashley Collins, Simon Kendrick and Portfolio Holder, Cllr. Heulwen Hulme and was further pleased that Cllr. Gareth Pugh as local member joined the virtual meeting.

There continues to be concerns that despite past assurances from the Local Authority, the Bulk Recycling facility is going to be used to store household residual waste (what is often referred to from members of the public and by other public bodies and organisation as black bag waste).

I would like to reiterate my very firm view that it would be entirely unreasonable and unacceptable for any residual waste to be sent or stored at the Bulk Recycling facility.

I would remind the Local Authority and point out that on numerous occasions the Council has made commitments to the community, my constituents, and myself, that no residual waste will be sent to or stored at the Bulk Recycling facility.

Commitments made from the local authority include:

When the original proposals were made public

At the public consultation and various public meetings

At the Powys County Council Planning committee meeting

To myself, verbally and in writing on a number of occasions over the past 2 years

Any suggestion that circumstances have now changed and the same commitment could no longer be made, would be entirely unreasonable, and would firmly not meet with my or the community's approval. Any suggestions that circumstances have changed before the building is even built, completed and in operation simply makes this suggestion all the more unacceptable. The commitment made by the Local Authority should remain into the future.

Given the above, and giving that the Local Authority is now progressing an application with NRW that specifically makes provision for residual waste at the facility, I don’t think that the Local Authority should be surprised that there is a great deal of mistrust in the community.

Black bag, residual waste is inconsistent in it’s composition, as NRW also point out themselves. Residual waste can be strong in odour, contain nappies and sanitary waste, it can attract pests and can involve many other items that present risks; for example from waste pharmaceuticals, batteries, etc.

Residual waste can be of varying stages of decay, especially with the length of time from the point of discard by a householder.

For the above reasons, this is why NRW require a permit for the storage of residual, back bag waste.

Only last year, NRW had discussions with the Health and Safety Executive regarding mixed residual processing and storage. I understand that these discussions further supported the need for appropriate control of residual waste.

The Local Authority seem to suggest in conversation and correspondence that residual waste does not contain food waste and other sources of material that are deemed to be of concern; any suggestion is simply not correct.

As I outlined in my recent meeting with you and officers, regardless of the various debates on whether concerns with residual, black bag waste have merit or not, the overriding issue remains that a commitment to me and the community has been made that the facility will not be used for the storage of residual waste.

I have a further concern that the impact of residual, black bag waste will have a detrimental effect in attracting other businesses to the ‘Business Park’. Any suggestions that a business would not be concerned  by a ‘bulking’ facility for black bag residual waste compared to a ‘recycling storage facility’ is also not accepted by me and the wider community.

I note that you have agreed to drop ‘Abermule’ from the title of the facility, which is welcome, however, I note in your more recent suggestion you have also dropped the word ‘recycling’ from your suggested title.  Given that the Local Authority has put so much emphasis that the facility is only for the storage of recycling material, the word ‘recycling’ should not under any circumstances be dropped from the naming of this facility.

I have discussed the contents of my letter with Cllr. Gareth Pugh and Craig Williams MP, who are both in full agreement with my views.

I firmly believe in order for you to restore trust in the community and to honour the numerous commitments you have made, any permit application to NRW should not incorporate the storage of residual waste on the site.

Kind regards

Russell