Cardiff Council’s plans to close Wedal Road Recycling Centre have raised concerns among city residents.
THE planned closure of Wedal Road Household Recycling Centre has caused concern among residents and councillors in north Cardiff.
Conservative councillor for Heath Lyn Hudson said: “Despite numerous petitions, meetings and vocal opposition from residents, the council are determined to close this community asset.
“I presented one of many petitions to the council in July, but despite the clear support for the tip, the Labour administration has decided to keep only two tips for the entire city – Bessemer Close and Lamby Way – neither of which are convenient for residents and again ignoring the north of the city.”
The plan to close the recycling centre was put on hold twice this year after strong opposition from north Cardiff residents.
There are three recycling centres in Cardiff and the proposed plan was to close one and turn the remaining two into larger facilities.
Over 1,800 residents from Heath and Gabalfa signed the petition against the closure of the Wedal Road centre and forced the council to re-evaluate the decision. However only 122 residents were at the PACT meeting to sign the petition. Another 28 signatures were needed for it to be recognised by Cardiff Council.
As a result, it was officially announced in October that the facility will close next summer.
From next summer, residents in North Cardiff will have to travel much further to the remaining recycling centres. Cardiff will be left with two locations, Lamby Way in the east of the city, and Bessemer Close, located near the Cardiff City Stadium in the south of the city.
Residents claim the closure will have a big effect on recycling in north Cardiff. Lisa Evans, who lives on Allensbank Road near the Wedal Road facility, said: “Rubbish collection on the road is pretty unreliable anyway, and I don’t really see how closing the centre will help.
“The council needs to be offering more opportunities to recycle but instead they’re putting all the work onto us by taking these opportunities away.”
Independent Heath councillor Fenella Bowden has other concerns. She said: “There has already been evidence of fly-tipping, next will be an increase in bonfires.
“The population of Heath is more elderly than other parts of the city and pretty soon they won’t be able to cope.”
Coun Bowden also mentioned her fears over the location of the remaining sites, one of which is in a busy part of the city: “Bessemer Close is right by the Cardiff City stadium. Residents who want to recycle on a Saturday will have to contend with the match-day congestion.”
Mark Jacques, a spokesman for Cardiff Council, said the council has not noticed any differences in fly-tipping and cities like Salford that are employing similar waste collection changes are also reporting no change in the amount of fly-tipping in the area.
The Cardiff North parliamentary constituency is held by the Conservatives, who claim the area is being neglected by Cardiff’s Labour-run council’s recycling plans.
Ahead of the 2016 local election, Coun Bowden said: “Labour are ignoring the north of the city and handing the election to the Conservatives on a platter.”
Eric Cadan, a spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, described the plans as “unnecessarily draconian measures”. He said: “There has been very little consultation with Cardiff residents regarding the changes.”
Under the Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru coalition that preceded the current Labour council, recycling rates peaked at 58% but despite the council’s changes to the recycling scheme, the rate is now at 53%.
Gabalfa’s Plaid Cymru councillor Gareth Holden says they are determined to drum-up support against the closure of Wedal Road. He said: “We are going to get the community to make some noise about it and continue flyering around the area.”
Coun Bowden said she will also continue with both her newsletters and her social media campaign against the decision.