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Carmarthenshire

Timeline for major changes to kerbside waste collection in Carmarthenshire revealed

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Carmarthenshire Council have announced when they plan to start implementing major changes to kerbside waste and recycling collection in the county – with the first changes kicking in from Spring 2022.

Proposals include reducing black bag collections to three bags once every three weeks, increasing blue bag recycling to weekly and introducing a new kerbside glass collection.

The changes come as the county’s cabinet agreed a future waste strategy that will allow them to meet the Welsh Government’s new targets of 70% recycling rate by 2025 and zero waste by 2050.

A series of changes will be made to household bin collections over the next three years to increase the county’s recycling rate and reduce its carbon footprint.

The council say that at the moment they provide a weekly food waste collection, along with a fortnightly collection of blue recycling bags and black bags – however, on average, almost half (46%) of the contents in black bags are recyclable.

So, from Spring 2022, fortnightly collections of nappies will be available to residents that need it.

In autumn 2022, the council will begin collecting unlimited blue recycling bags – containing paper, cardboard, plastic and cans – every week alongside weekly food waste collections. Free blue bags, compostable food waste liners and food waste caddies will continue to be provided to every household.

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Also, from Autumn ‘22, crews will start collecting glass from the kerbside every three weeks and as a result of the increased recycling provision up to three black bags per household will then be picked up every three weeks. 

Residents will also be able to continue the popular paid for garden waste collection service, available between March and November every year as well as take advantage of the low-cost compost bin provision offered which could contribute to further reducing carbon footprint by home composting.

Bigger changes are then planned for 2024 – by which time the council will have renewed its bin lorries to allow even better recycling collections, more of the fleet at this point will be eco- friendly electric vehicles that allow for kerbside sorting.

The council will then be collecting glass, paper, cardboard, cans and plastic, textiles, used batteries and small household appliances from people’s doorsteps, with equipment provided so that the items can be stored and collected separately.

With the increased kerbside recycling available for residents to use the council say there will be very little residual waste to pick up every three weeks.

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Cllr Hazel Evans, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We want to thank our residents for every effort they are making to reduce, reuse and recycle – everybody’s collective efforts are making a big difference to the amount Carmarthenshire recycles. However, there is more we can do which is why we have agreed changes that will support residents to recycle even more.

“More than 4,000 people took part in a consultation on our future waste strategy, and the majority of people said they wanted to recycle more. We have listened to that feedback, and from next year we will be carrying out separate collections of nappies and glass so that there’s less to put in black bags, and from 2024 will be introducing more changes so that we can work towards achieving a 70 per cent recycling rate by 2025 and zero waste by 2050.”

Cllr Ann Davies, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, said the changes will support the authority’s target of becoming net carbon zero.

“As an authority we are committed to tackling climate change and reducing and offsetting carbon emissions with the aim of becoming net carbon zero by 2030,” she said.

“Through our Prosiect Zero Sir Gâr campaign we are getting everyone involved in helping us reach that target and recycling forms a huge part of that plan. The more we can reduce, reuse and recycle, the better.

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“We are also making changes so that our operations leave less of a carbon footprint – for example we have rationalised our routes so that our lorries do less mileage, and we are trialling electric powered lorries to carry out collections in the future.

“These, and other measures, have helped us reduce carbon emissions from our fleet by 19% since 2012/13, but we know there is more work to do.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Carmarthen

Major new TV drama latest to choose Carmarthenshire as its setting

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Carmarthenshire County Council has been working with location scouts and the production team to support the filming of a new thriller, which is using the county as its backdrop.

Y Golau/The Light In The Hall, produced by Triongl Cyf and Duchess Street Productions, is being filmed in Welsh and English and is set to air on S4C and Channel 4 in the UK, and Sundance Now in the US.

Cast and crew have been working in and around Llandovery, Carmarthen, Llangadog and Llandeilo over the past few weeks.

Actors including Joanna Scanlan, currently starring as Ma Larkin in the hit ITV family drama The Larkins, and Iwan Rheon of Game of Thrones, are amongst those featuring in the thriller.

The council has been working to ensure the local area benefits financially from the production with location fees, accommodation and associated spending on food and retail in the Llandovery, Carmarthen, and surrounding areas set to bring a substantial boost to the local economy.

Council officers have also ensured minimal disruption to communities for the duration of the filming, with traffic management and access to local businesses unaffected.

This is the latest major production to be located in Carmarthenshire, on the back of the hugely successful Keeping Faith drama based in Laugharne and Carmarthen, and Save The Cinema, a film due to be released on Sky in the New Year.

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Although Llandovery and Carmarthen will see the most activity, other locations across the county are also hosting film crews for a range of other productions at the moment.

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Yet again Carmarthenshire has been chosen as the location for a major production, which proves that what we have got to offer is enough to attract the best companies in the world.

“Our officers have been supporting the crew to scout locations, contact local landowners and liaise with partners – all part of our efforts to support the growth of the local economy. When we are able to attract productions of this scale, we are able to bring new money into the area – a cast and crew of around 60 people are staying and spending locally, and that means money in the tills of local businesses and in the pockets of local people.”

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, added: “We are very fortunate to have such a range of locations suitable for filming in Carmarthenshire, from large beaches that stretch for miles, to rural and urban landscapes, rolling countryside and historic buildings. We have worked hard to grow our reputation as a location for filming and that is paying off with more enquiries being made to us all the time. It will be fantastic to see Carmarthenshire featured on the screen once again.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Carmarthen

Council moves customer services into former Carmarthen Debenhams store

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Carmarthen’s council customer services Hwb is moving to St Catherine’s Walk to make use of space in the council’s 100% Sir Gâr pop-up shop.

Carmarthenshire County Council has secured temporary use of the former Debenhams unit in Carmarthen town centre to provide free retail space for local businesses in the run-up to Christmas.

And to take advantage of the space, it is also moving its customer service team there so people can call in and get advice about council services and support, pick up recycling bags and more whilst doing their Christmas shopping.

The cash desk and other council services will remain at Spillman Street.

Several local businesses have already signed up to make use of the free retail space being offered as part of the council’s 100% Sir Gâr initiative, which will see a new lease of life being brought to the empty town centre unit.

Leader of the council, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said it made sense to bring the customer service centre into town to make it easier for people to access council services in the run-up to Christmas.

“We are pleased to be making good use of this empty unit in Carmarthen town centre’s prime retail core,” he said. “We’ve got lots of fantastic local businesses signed up to make use of the free retail space we’re offering as a 100% Sir Gâr pop-up shop.

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“We know this time of year is an exceptionally busy period for people, so it made sense to bring our customer services team into the heart of the town so people can get help and support from us without going further out of their way.

“Our customer services team are there to help with everything from accessing financial support to helping people find suitable housing, from applying for blue badges to supporting people with recycling, and much more.

“We hope people will call in to support local businesses as they do their Christmas shopping, and – if they need it – get the help and support of our customer services team at the same time.”

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Carmarthen

New state-of-the-art prostate biopsy machine for Glangwili and Prince Philip hospitals

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A £50,000 state-of-the-art prostate biopsy machine has been purchased for use at Glangwili and Prince Philip hospitals, thanks to charitable donations to local urology services, including a £30,000 donation from the West Wales Prostate Cancer Support Group.

The new diagnostic equipment will transform the way prostate cancer is diagnosed, according to Urology Consultant Mr Yeung Ng, and enable the Urology team to continue to develop the targeted biopsy service locally.

Consultant Mr Ng said: “The new equipment allows the capacity of prostate biopsies to be doubled, while also allowing the biopsies to be undertaken.

“The equipment will enable us to undertake transperineal biopsies which are safer procedures with a lower rate of infection as we do not have to undertake the biopsy rectally and diagnostic rates are also improved. 

“The Urology Department is extremely grateful for the charitable donations that we have received to make this purchase possible, as well as for the continued support that WWPCSG has provided us.

“The support of our local communities has helped us acquire new state-of-the-art prostate diagnostic equipment that equips us well for transitioning over to a transperineal prostate service while continuing to develop the targeted biopsy service.

“This support is helping to transform the way we diagnose prostate cancer, especially as patients have previously had to travel to a neighbouring health board to receive this advanced biopsy.”

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Pictured from left, with the new biopsy machine, are: Specialist Nurses Wolfgang Ackerman, David Ceri Thomas and Nicola Thomas; Consultant Mr Yeung Ng;  and Cancer Support Worker Janet Mackrell. (Image: Hywel Dda NHS)

Ken Jones, chairman of the West Wales Prostate Cancer Support Group, said: “Our group offers help to men and their partners living in west Wales.

“While we are not an organisation that sets out to raise funds, we are frequently given donations by people that we have helped. So, when we are able, we donate larger sums to areas where they are needed, such as health boards and cancer research charities that work within west Wales.

“We are delighted to be able to assist in the purchase of this equipment that will help in the work of Hywel Dda’s Urology Department.”

Lead Image: From left, at the cheque presentation are: Urology Service Manager Lianne Wood; Clinical Nurse Specialist Angharad Watkins; Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board Maria Battle; Consultant Mr Yeung Ng; David Goddard, Ken Jones and Iori Rees of WWPCSG; and Claire Rumble, Hywel Dda Health Charities Fundraising Officer. (Image: Hywel Dda NHS)

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