Cwm Harry Land Trust won the Award for Community Recycler of the Year at last weeks Cylch Conference in Llandudno. Cylch is Wales’ Association for social enterprises and community sector waste management companies, and each year its awards recognise the best in Wales.
Jane Davidson – who recently retired as Minster for Sustainability in Wales – presented the award to Mark Davies and Wendy Toomey who lead the local staff team in Presteigne. In accepting the award Wendy Toomey said “the award is a much appreciated recognition of the hard work of both Cwm Harry and the community; hard work that they have done together. Our approach of ‘Slow Recycling’, where we invest in people and not in expensive trucks, really works.”
‘Slow Recycling’ has allowed Presteigne to achieve an 11% reduction in materials being discarded and a recycling rate of 74%. This meets the Welsh Government’s 2025 target after just 15 months of operation in the town. Funded by the Welsh Government and Powys County Council, the pilot project is now working to achieve an 80% recycling rate.
Whilst going slowly means collecting from just 250 homes a day it does mean that:
- The local staff have the opportunity to talk with residents and support them in recycling
- We collect and sort on the kerbside 15 material streams, each to a very high quality and each then commanding maximum value
- The waste is ‘made visible’ through the depot, information and a community dividend that returns the value of the recycled materials to community groups.
Town Councillor Colin Kirkby who represents the community of Presteigne and Norton and is Chair of the Advisory Board said “we are delighted that Cwm Harry has won this prestigious award for their work here. Their Zero Waste Service is making us think differently about waste, so that it is becoming the norm not only to recycle but to avoid creating waste in the first place. ”
Cllr Ken Harris who is PCC’s portfolio holder for Waste and Sustainability added the “the Zero Waste Presteigne & Norton project is a credit to Powys and we are very pleased that its contribution has been recognised.”
This award comes just one week ahead of the visit to Presteigne by the new Minster for the Environment and Sustainable Development, John Griffiths AM, who will be meeting the team behind Zero Waste.