Falling recycling waste prices costing Welsh councils

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Welsh councils are struggling with their budgets due to a decrease in waste prices

BBC Wales has reported that six Welsh councils are struggling with their budgets due to the drastic drop in waste prices in recent months.

According to the BBC Wales report, the market for waste materials has taken a huge hit resulting in losses of up to £1million for Welsh councils.

Industry experts have blamed the failing waste market on plummeting oil prices, the economical situation in China, and cheap steel flooding the European market. As a result of these uncontrollable elements, the market price for recycled plastics has dropped by 58%; recycled steel can waste has fallen by a staggering 88%; and prices for recycled glass has tumbled by 67%.

Harvey Mitchell, Flintshire’s waste services manager, said the district could celebrate successful recycling rates (with 58% of municipal waste now being recycled in Flintshire), but that this good news has been tainted by the income losses of approximately £419,000.

Mr Mitchell said: “… while we’ve seen an increase in the amount of material we’ve collected, we’ve actually seen a drop in the income because of the market prices.”

Figures suggest that Pembrokeshire, Gwynedd, Powys, Cardiff and Conwy are also recording significant losses due to the abysmal waste market prices. Pembrokeshire Council has announced it has overestimated its budget by £360,000 because of the loss of income; while Powys Council will suffer losses of £160,000.

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