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Black bins set to be processed in Abermule facility to save £100k for Powys Council

The North Powys Bulking Facility on the outskirts of Abermule (pic: Elgan Hearn)

BLACK bin waste is set to be processed at a village near Newtown soon, but campaigners say they don’t want to see the rubbish brought to the Abermule.

The proposal to bring black bin waste to the controversial £4.6 million North Powys Bulking Facility on the outskirts of Abermule is amongst a raft of cuts and savings worth £10.652 million that Powys County Council need to make to balance next year’s budget.

The black bin proposal is expected to save the Powys £100,000 over two years.

The facility receives recycling collected from households across Montgomeryshire, where it will be squashed together or “bulked,” so that it can be more easily transported to processors to turn into new products.

It can now operate after it was finally awarded an environment permit to operate by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in July last year, almost exactly five years since the proposal was given planning permission in 2018.

This permit allows for black bin waste to be processed at Abermule.

But dealing with black bin waste was not included in the planning permission for the site.

Villagers formed Abermule Community Together (ACT) five years ago to fight against the scheme.

Jeff Mathews of ACT said that reassurances had been given to villagers from senior council staff that black bin waste would not be coming to Abermule.

Mr Mathews said: “Black bin waste has always been a contentious issue to the community and now it’s reared its head again.”

He believed that Powys County Council should have discussed the proposal with Abermule with Llandyssil Community Council and consulted with villagers first before including it in their budget proposals.

Mr Mathews said: “We don’t want black bin waste to come to Abermule, it’s as simple as that.”

In documents that explain the proposal, Senior Waste and Recycling Manager, Ashley Collins said: “Residual waste collected from households is currently taken to a third party site in Welshpool for which a handling fee is charged.

“The facility is already used to transfer collected recyclable material and is permitted by NRW to also accept residual waste.

“This would, however, require planning authorisation.”

The proposal has already been questioned Plaid Cymru group leader Cllr Elwyn Vaughan who wanted an explanation behind the proposal from the Liberal Democrat/Labour Cabinet.

Cabinet member for Highways Transport and Recycling, Liberal Democrat Cllr Jackie Charlton said: “The facility has been an operational depot for our crews and vehicles for 18 months and has also accepted material for bulking for the last six.

“This has proved very successful and has had very little impact on the community despite their initial fears.

“We are currently spending £100,000 a year with a third party, a cost that is easily avoided with minimal if any negative impact.”

Cllr Jackie Charlton (Pic: PCC YouTube site)

The draft budget for 2024/2025 will be finalised and debated by councillors at a meeting on February 22.