Posted on: Thursday 10 March 2022
On Thursday, Torfaen Council received five second-hand recycling vehicles purchased from Powys County Council to help address an ageing fleet and a spate of breakdowns.
As a temporary measure, the council is spending £40,000 on the five vehicles to provide back-up to the existing fleet and help tackle a recent increase in missed collections.
£893,000 is also being spent on two new electric waste vehicles, which will be in operation from May. The Welsh Government is providing 46% of the funding for the 26 tonne electric vehicles which will replace two existing diesel vehicles. A further £2,793,864 is being spent on a brand new fleet of 19 recycling vehicles, which will be on the roads next year.
Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for the Environment, said: "We are listening to our residents and we’re very aware of the issues some residents have faced over recent months with missed waste and recycling collections. I can only apologise for any inconvenience they have experienced.
"The problems have been caused by a number of factors, including an ageing fleet of vehicles, staff absence and isolation during the pandemic and marketplace challenges of recruiting HGV drivers and vehicle loaders.
"However, I am pleased that not only are we investing in a short term replacement of vehicles this week, we are also making significant investments to improve the service in the longer term, and investing in staff with four new HGV drivers expected to start next week. This is in addition to existing waste staff we have been funding and training to get their HGV licences.
"This package of measures is vital for our residents satisfaction and but will also help us achieve the Welsh Government recycling target of 70 per cent by 2024/25.”
Torfaen's recycling rate for 2020-2021 was 62% and the current rate for this year is projected to be 63.12%.
Improving and increasing recycling rates and introducing more electric vehicles are part of Torfaen Council's wider Climate and Nature Emergency Plan to help Torfaen to become net carbon zero by 2050.
You can find out more about recycling in Torfaen and sign up for our special Reduce, Reuse, Recycle newsletters via our website. You can also follow #CuttheCarbonTorfaen on social media.