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Rhondda Cynon Taf Council send waste to Cardiff to be incinerated but allow other councils to dump waste at Bryn Pica Llwydcoed

We have been informed Rhondda Cynon Taf Council (RCTC) now send all household waste to the Cardiff incinerator run privately by a company called Viridor who run the Trident Park Energy Recovery Facility.

In a statement on social media a council spokesperson posted, “RCT Council hasn’t sent any household waste to landfill since 2016 (with the exception of when the plant is non operational - 2 weeks of the year) and all non-recyclable items are sent to be converted in to energy, which helps to generate electricity to power homes across Wales.”

Viridor in 2015 published “Viridor secured a contract to transform 95,000 tonnes of residual waste annually into low carbon energy and recycled aggregates from Tomorrow’s Valley - a group of four Welsh local authorities, led by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.” “The 25-year contract, which may be extended for a further five years, will begin in April 2016 and is backed by funding from the Welsh Government.”

The question was asked, is there any other waste being tipped there from other local authorities at Bryn Pica landfill site? The council responded with,

“Currently there is no permanent contract in place to take waste from other Local Authorities. If needed, AMGEN Cymru can on a commercial basis offer short-term help to other Councils facing operational difficulties.”

The reason why the council were asked the question was that RCTC Council hasn’t sent any household waste to landfill, and we were aware AMGEN Cymru is the trading name of Cynon Valley Waste Disposal Company Ltd. The company was formed in June 1993. It is the Local Authority Waste Disposal Company wholly owned by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council who themselves now use the Cardiff incinerator for all RCT household waste. 

The council say they take in household waste from other local authorities and we know this to be correct, as we had been informed by Ceredigion Council from a Freedom of Information Request submitted saying: LANDFILL SITE - Household waste/ Bulky waste Amgen Cymru, Bryn Pica, Landfill Site, CF44 0BX

This was before the question was put to RCTC on social media we were informed that waste was coming to the Bryn Pica Llwydcoed waste site from Ceredigion Council 75 miles away. Perhaps the council can clarify this as we were also informed that the transported used for transporting the waste avoided the weighbridge at Bryn Pica and drove past to be dumped in a shed where it was reloaded on to a different vehicle a transferred to the Bryn Pica waste site to be dumped; therefore where is the record of the waste arriving on the site? Why were the vehicles not weighed on the weighbridge? Perhaps the RCT Council can confirm this to be correct or deny what happened? 

Did Ceredigion Council weigh the loaded vehicles before they set off to the Bryn Pica site? Perhaps either Ceredigion Council or the contractor who transported the waste can explain?

Section 18 - 20 of the Landfill Disposals Tax Wales says,

“Section 20(1) requires that the landfill site operator determines the weight of the taxable disposal before the disposal is made by weighing the material on a weighbridge.”

134. When asked about the requirement under section 20(1) to determine the weight of material ‘before’ the disposal is made, the Cabinet Secretary said:

“Our formulation just reflects our view of what normal practice is in the field, and the normal practice is that material, on entering the landfill site, is weighed on a weighbridge prior to it being taken to the void where the taxable disposal is made. Our form of words is designed to reflect that prevailing practice.”

The question we ask why did Ceredigion Council have to transport household waste and what appears to be some recycled waste 75 miles to Aberdare when the on 4 September 2018 the BBC Wales news reported Ceredigion Council currently have four household waste sites - which is more than the statutory requirement? So why is RCT Council allowing Cynon Valley to be the dumping ground for Wales and possibly beyond how many other councils are allowed to dump household waste in Cynon Valley when we have to pay to transport our household waste to Cardiff? This was taken from Herefordshire minerals and waste local plan 2018 “Bryn Pica and Trecatti landfill sites in South Wales will meet Powys’ needs for the foreseeable future.” I believe residents of RCT need an explanation?

report in the South Wales Echo about landfill reports Bryn Pica has only 20 years left for tipping that was way back in 2008 so if the report is correct there are just 11 years left for tipping waste at Bryn Pica. The council allowing the management (if it is just the management) to operate the site under Amgen Cymru and Cynon Valley Waste Disposal Company Ltd who are owned by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. So basically it is the council who is allowing waste from mid-Wales to be dumped at Llwydcoed therefor decreasing the lifespan of Bryn Pica for local use. We must not forget the environmental problem caused by transporting waste over seventy miles away when it may have been tipped closer to home.

Although RCTC pay use the Viridor incinerator Viridor runs a Community Fund called The Viridor & Prosiect Gwyrdd Community Fund is a £50,000 per annum donation that Viridor has committed to making available to community initiatives that operate The requirements for project applications a project needs to be located within the geographical postcode of any of the five local authorities of Prosiect Gwyrdd: Caerphilly County Borough Council, City of Cardiff Council, Monmouthshire County Council, Newport City Council and Vale of Glamorgan Council. The question is why is Rhondda Cynon Taf Council not included as they contribute perhaps Viridor or RCT Council can explain?

 

Aberdare Park Paddling Pool has been closed for years when there appear to be lots of funding around so why hasn’t the problem been sorted it out as they did for Mountain Ash? But that had the backing of Andrew Morgan leader of RCT Council.

Please see letter/statement below sent on behalf of an RCT Council Spokesperson:

RE: 23rd April - Rhondda Cynon Taf Council send waste to Cardiff to be incinerated but allow other councils to dump waste at Bryn Pica Llwydcoed Why?

 

Please see response to your recent article in relation to Amgen Cymru and associated waste management matters below -

 

An RCT Council Spokesperson, said:

 

“As you are aware from recent social media comments and responses, Amgen Cymru are able to offer a short term service to another Local Authority as part of a commercial arrangement. In response to your query, when such an arrangement is undertaken, a higher rate of landfill tax would be applied in these circumstances alongside the appropriate gate fees.

 

“Your article also queries arrangements for waste undertaken on entry to the site. Amgen Cymru can confirm that these arrangements are in-line with permit conditions and legislation and the relevant taxation is applied. In circumstances where a refuse vehicle is not suited to directly tipping at the Tip Face at Bryn Pica, such vehicles may deposit onto a ‘hard-stand’ and later be transported to a tip face by a different vehicle. 

 

“In response to the point raised in respect of the life-span of the Bryn-Pica facility, as stated in the previous Social Media statements, the site has approximately 18 years of air space left.

 

“Additionally, after the waste is taken to the Energy Recovery Facility, which sees energy produced and harnessed to power over 50,000 homes - the residual ash is collected and sent for recycling and not land filled.

 

“As a commercial business, Amgen Cymru submit waste returns on an quarterly basis and this information is scrutinised and audited by National Resources Wales.”

 

Please can you ensure that these important points are reflected within the said article.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

An RCT Council Spokesperson

To whom it may concern as the RCT Council Spokesperson?

 

29 April 2019

 

I thank you for responding and commenting to the article on AberdareOnline as requested your full response was posted on the website, as an RCT Council Spokesperson has responded, please can the spokesperson clarify a few points you raised and have not been addressed.

 

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?

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.

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.

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 scrutinise and audited something that did not happen?

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?

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.

 

 

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?

 

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.

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?

 

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?

 

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 Bryn Pica waste site through private contractors?

 

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? 

 

Aberdareonline

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

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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?