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Waste and Pollution

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Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council have published a joint Waste Core Strategy 2006-2026, Development Plan Document Adopted July 2009

Municipal solid waste is waste collected by (or on behalf of) the local authority. It is mostly waste from households and recycling centres, but also some waste from commerce and industry, and from street cleaning and other sources. In Wiltshire and Swindon, municipal waste management is contracted to Hills Waste Solutions Ltd.

The attached table shows that the total municipal solid waste collected in Wiltshire (excluding Swindon) increased until 2004/05, declined for several years but rose slightly in Wiltshire in 2011/12.

The average amount of solid household waste collected per person is declining in the long term, but in 2011/12 this was 465kg per person in Wiltshire, 416kg in Swindon Borough and 431kg in England.

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Municipal&Household Waste 2001-2012
Municipal&Household Waste 2001-2012

The proportion of municipal waste sent to landfill has decreased significantly in the last decade (see table). This is due to increased rates of recycling and composting and, more recently, the diversion of waste to generate energy. New facilities have been built to process 60,000 tonnes of residual waste each year at Northacre Industrial Estate, Westbury, and another facility to process 48,000 tonnes of waste each year is under construction at Cheney Manor Industrial Estate, Swindon. Waste taken to the treatment plants is shredded and dried to produce fuel.

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% Municipal Waste Sent to Landfill
% Municipal Waste Sent to Landfill
The attached table shows the percentage of household waste that is recycled and composted. Until 2010, this was reported by all local authorities as National Indicator 192.
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% Dry Recycling & Composting
% Dry Recycling & Composting
There has been a significant rise in recycling levels over the past eight years. Every area has seen at least a doubling in the percentage of waste recycled or composted. Considering that total household waste tonnages have reduced in recent years, the amount of waste that is recycled and composted has risen. For example, 46,830 tonnes was recycled and composted in 2003/4, compared to 87,540 tonnes in 2010/11. 

The rate of change has been faster in Wiltshire and Swindon than that achieved across England as a whole.

The district level data in the table is not strictly comparable with Wiltshire, and the other regions, as they do not include the contribution made by household recycling centres. However, this data shows the difference between the former districts, with North Wiltshire falling significantly behind other districts.

© Recycle for Wiltshire 2010 http://www.recycleforwiltshire.com/index.php/stats/performance

Sources: Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council (Richard Fisher)

Data is available on the percentage of land and highways which fall below an acceptable standard for litter and detritus. For the purposes of this data, litter is defined as mainly synthetic materials, often associated with smoking, eating and drinking, that are improperly discarded. Detritus is defined as build-ups of dust, mud, soil, stones, leaves etc. The lower the percentage value given below, the better quality the area will be.
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Litter and Ditrius Levels
Litter and Ditrius Levels (percentage of land/highways which fall below and accpeptable standard)

From 2004-8, there is a significant year on year downwards trend in every region surveyed. The decline in areas with excess litter and detritus has been more rapid in Wiltshire than in England as a whole. In the four years measured, each region of Wiltshire and Swindon decreased by significantly over 50%, whereas in the same time England’s average value only dropped by roughly 40%. Litter levels are affected by two main variables – the rate of littering and the rate of collection – and so declines in litter levels may not indicate less littering taking place.

Data from 2004-8 cannot be compared directly with data from 2008-10 due to a change in the data collection, analysis and reporting methods.

Up to 2007/8, local authorities reported on litter levels as one of the Best Value Performance Indicators (BVPI). From 2008/9 to 2009/10, the BVPIs were replaced with the National Indicators (NI) – litter was NI 195a and detritus was NI 195b.

Collection of NI195 data by local authorities was stopped by the government in 2010. Some local authorities still report on a voluntary basis to the organisation Keep Britain Tidy.

© Crown Copyright

For more information: 

http://cleanliness-indicator.defra.gov.uk/

Keep Britain Tidy: http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/KeyIssues/Litter/Default.aspx

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of significant quantities of rubbish. However, as it is illegal and by its nature secretive, it is very difficult to accurately measure. The table shows the number of incidents reported, the actions taken by the local council, and successful prosecutions. Actions taken were only reported from 2007/08 onwards and include prosecutions but also warning letters, fixed penalty notices and other actions.

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Fly Tipping Incidents and Prosecutions
Fly Tipping Incidents and Prosecutions
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Fly Tipping in Wiltshire and Swindon 2009-2013
Fly Tipping in Wiltshire and Swindon 2009-2013

No data is available for the constituent districts of Wiltshire in 2009/10. This is due to a change in reporting scale after the transition to a unitary authority.

© Crown Copyright

Data downloaded from: http://archive.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/local/flytipping/flycapture-data.htm#0910

Local authorities have a legal duty to identify and take action to address contaminated land.

In 2010, Wiltshire Council produced an Inspection Strategy for Contaminated Land. It states that the process of inspecting and identifying contaminated land is ongoing. Seven sites of potential concern have been identified to date and will require further investigation. Two sites have been declared as contaminated land and confirmed as ‘special sites’, which means that the Environment Agency (not the local authority) is responsible for taking action to address them.

Contaminated land is often found on sites previously used for industry, and these sites are now a priority for development. It is therefore anticipated that most contaminated land will be addressed through the planning process.

This strategy and other information on contaminated land can be found on Wiltshire Council’s website: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/communityandliving/publicprotection/pollutionandnoise/contaminatedland.htm

Swindon Borough Council produced a Contaminated Land Strategy in 2011. No sites have been declared contaminated at present, largely because sites of concern have been addressed by the owners after being contacted by the council. This strategy and other information on contaminated land can be found on Swindon Borough Council’s website: http://www.swindon.gov.uk/ep/ep-environmentalprotection/Pages/ep-environmentalprotection-contaminatedland.aspx

Light pollution is caused by excess light radiating into areas where it is not wanted. The source is often street lighting, resulting in an orange glow around urban areas. It has been measured by the saturation of pixels in a satellite survey taken at night. Ephemeral sources were removed, to supply an accurate picture of normal light pollution levels. 

Wiltshire is significantly more light polluted than the rest of the South West region, but is still better than the average for England. Nevertheless, 30% is still classified as one of the two darkest bands. Light pollution has also increased significantly across all regions. Wiltshire has increased almost the same amount as the rest of England, but significantly more than the South West, distancing itself from the rest of the region.

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Light Pollution Map
Light Pollution Map
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has carried out research into tranquillity, including noise and visual intrusion.

According to the figures in the attached table, Wiltshire is significantly more tranquil overall than Swindon, although this is to be expected, as Swindon has considerably more urban areas and major roads in proportion to its land area. Wiltshire is less tranquil than the rest of the South West but more tranquil than England as a whole.

The attached map shows tranquillity levels for Wiltshire and Swindon.

An intrusion map for the South West and other regions is available on CPRE’s website.

The methodology used to calculate these figures is detailed in the report ‘Developing an Intrusion Map of England’ prepared for CPRE by Land Use Consultants, August 2007, available at:  http://www.cpre.org.uk/resources/countryside/tranquil-places/item/1790-developing-an-intrusion-map-of-england

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Tranquillity Map
Tranquillity Map
© CPRE 2011
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