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North Powys Bulking Facility still not fully operational

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

APRIL has given way to May, June is on the horizon and Powys County Council’s North Powys Bulking Facility at Abermule is still not fully operational.

Back in January, a senior council officer believed that the bulking facility would have been fully operational by April.

But the council is still waiting for environment body, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to decide an environment permit to allow them to use site.

Once fully operational the controversial £4.6 million North Powys Bulking Facility is supposed to receive recycling collected from households across Montgomeryshire.

There it will be squashed together or “bulked,” so that it can be more easily transported to processors to turn into new products.

Refuse fleet crews for both Welshpool and Newtown are all now based in Abermule.

Abermule Rubbish Protest

A spokesman for NRW said:  “We can confirm that the determination process is still ongoing.

“Our officers are approaching the final stages of the process.

“We will announce our determination when we have concluded the process.”

A council spokesman said: “Powys County Council have provided NRW with everything that they have requested throughout the process of applying for the environment permit for the North Powys Bulking Facility.

“NRW have not provided a timescale, but the site will not be operational as a bulking facility until a permit is secured.”

Last January, at a meeting of the Economy, Residents and Communities scrutiny committee to discuss this year’s budget, councillors were told that a fully operational site would mean a £100,000 saving for the council.

Currently the bulking work is being done at a site in Welshpool and the saving will be realised when the council don’t have to pay another company to do this work.

At the meeting head of highways, transport and recycling, Matt Perry had told council that he was “so keen” to get in there before April.

At the same time NRW had asked for more information from the council about the Odour Impact Assessment, the Fire Prevention & Mitigation Plan including the 250,000-litre water tank as well as whether the Accident Management Plan included dealing with flooding.

In March last year, NRW rejected the council’s permit application due to concerns about fire safety.

Powys have always stressed that the facility which was given planning approval nearly five years ago is needed so that they can hit Welsh Government recycling targets.