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Council’s plan to cut CO2 by almost 700 tonnes a year

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council is investing over £2.5million to make energy efficiencies in its buildings in a bid to cut carbon emissions by almost 700 tonnes a year.

It is part of the council’s efforts to become a net zero carbon local authority by 2030, a commitment it made in February when declaring a climate emergency.

The authority has taken out an interest-free loan to pay for the Welsh Government Re:fit scheme, which it will pay back over 10 years from savings on running costs.

New technology will be installed in non-domestic buildings – including schools – to save energy and water, with an estimated 691 tonnes of CO2 saved every year.

Over 30 sites have been identified for phase one of the roll-out, undertaken on behalf of the council by renewable energy company Ameresco.

The scheme is in addition to the energy saving measures the council has already applied in its buildings.

To date, over £2million has been invested in over 200 energy efficiency projects, saving over £7million in running costs and 41,000 tonnes of CO2 over the lifetime of installed technologies.

The council has a policy of integrating low and zero carbon technologies into major building works projects such as schools, where PV installations and Passivhaus standards are already in use.

Its fleet of refuse lorries is the most emission-friendly fleet in Wales; street lighting has been converted to LED units; and there has been significant investment in Safe Routes in the Community and Safe Routes to Schools to encourage more sustainable travel.

In 2012 Carmarthenshire became the first council in Wales to introduce electric pool car vehicles, and has recently secured funding for plug-in chargers following an increase in electric vehicle sales.

Last year, the council vowed to reduce single-use plastics in council buildings and offices and ban plastic cups and straws.

The council’s climate declaration was backed unanimously by councillors in February.

As well as making and planning changes towards a target of becoming a zero carbon local authority by 2030, it has called on Welsh and UK Governments to provide support and resources to enable effective carbon reductions.

Cllr Hazel Evans, Executive Board Member for Environment, said: “We take our commitment to working towards becoming a carbon neutral authority very seriously, and we’re pleased to be making this investment not only to save harmful carbon emissions, but also to save financially on the cost of running our buildings.

“Coupled with our on-going property rationalisation programme, we are producing financial and carbon savings in times of increasing utility prices. This is a win-win situation when we are also able to help the environment.”

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Cruise Culture returns to Carmarthen this Sunday

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WALES’ biggest modified and performance car show is returning to the Carmarthen Showground this Sunday, August 25.

Cruise Culture is a static car show with modified, performance, classic and standard cars. The annual show attracts thousands of visitors each year.

On Sunday August 25, the ultimate indoor show hall will have some of the best modified cars from all over the UK on display, as well as an outdoor show and shine section.

Growing year on year, Cruise Culture now welcomes over 40 club stands. The entertainment stage will have DJs playing all day. Competitions throughout the day will include: Club of the Show; Car of the Show; Show and Shine Winner; Best Club Stand Car; Best Show Hall Car; Best Wheels of the Show and Best Install.

Prizes and awards will be handed out for each of the various competitions. There will also be inflatables and fair attractions, meaning Cruise Culture is a great family day out.

There will be a wide variety of food stalls, not just burger vans but hog roasts, BBQ, pizza and much more. The Jamie Squibb Freestyle Motocross Stunt Show will also take place, as the team of riders perform breathtaking jumps and stunts.

Pre-sale tickets have now ended. Tickets are now only available at the gate. Gate price is £7 per person. Under 12’s get in free.

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Rubbish dumped in lane lands woman in court

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DUMPING a rubbish bag containing a kitchen mop, a children’s scooter and wood has cost one Kidwelly woman nearly £400.

Sarah Louise Leach-Davies was ordered by Llanelli magistrates to pay the costs after the blue recycling bag belonging to her was found by council enforcement officers in a lane behind her home in Parc Pendre in March this year.

The 32-year-old had already received two previous warnings and a Fixed Penalty Notice for depositing other unsuitable waste in the lane including glass, shoes and a wooden table top.

Leach-Davies was also given a recycling calendar and easy recycling guide following the first incident, but still continued to bag and dump rubbish unsuitable for kerbside collection.

A second FPN was issued on Friday, March 1 after further waste belonging to her was again found in the lane and was unsuitable for kerbside collection.

The notice remained unpaid and the case taken to court by Carmarthenshire County Council.

Leach-Davies did not turn up to court. She was fined £150 in her absence, and must pay £271.21 costs and £30 Victim Surcharge.

The council’s executive board member for public protection, Cllr Phillip Hughes said: “This was a blatant act of total disregard for the environment. It was the third occasion that this woman has been caught dumping rubbish in her lane. She was also well aware of what acceptable waste for kerbside collection was, and what was unacceptable. There are no excuses for what she was doing and we will continue to take action on anyone caught abandoning rubbish illegally in Carmarthenshire.”

If you see someone littering, fly-tipping or abandoning waste you can report it online at Carmarthenshire.gov.wales (recycling, bins and litter section) or call 01267 234567 during office hours.

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More litter louts left out of pocket

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MORE people have been left out of pocket after carelessly or purposely littering our county.

During July 2019, Carmarthenshire County Council enforcement officers handed out more than £1,600 in fixed penalty notices (FPNs).

They were for a range of offences, including larger fines for the worst fly-tipping offences, for failing to clear dog poo and littering at community recycling sites.

· Two £300 FPNs (£600 total) were issued to a Llanelli business owner who tried to dispose of his business waste at the Llanelli Household Waste Recycling Centre. He was also issued with notices requiring him to produce relevant documentation allowing him to transport waste, but he failed to do so within the specified time

· A £350 FPN was issued to a Llanelli resident for dumping several black refuse bags on the ground at a recycling facility in Dylan, Llwynhendy

· A £300 FPN was issued to a Llanelli resident for failing to check that man he’d paid to remove his waste was licenced and authorised to transport waste. The waste was illegally dumped in the Penygraig area of Llanelli. Enforcement officers are still trying to track the illegal waste carrier

· A £100 FPN was issued to a Carmarthen town centre resident for breaching a Section 46 notice requiring her to properly manage the waste she puts out for collection

· A £100 FPN was issued to a Llanelli man for failing to pick up his dog’s poo. He was reported by a member of the public and was tracked down by officers

· A £75 FPN was issued to a Llanelli woman for leaving a black refuse bag on the ground at Cefncaeau recycling facility

· A £75 FPN was issued to a Llanelli resident for a leaving a cardboard box on the ground at Cefncaeau recycling facility

· A £75 FPN was issued to a man for fly-posting in Carmarthen town centre

Cllr Philip Hughes, Executive Board Member for enforcement, said: “There is absolutely no excuse for littering. There are plenty of waste disposal facilities, including weekly kerbside collections, community recycling sites, business waste collections and household waste recycling centres.

“People know it is wrong to litter, or not pick up after their dog, yet there are those who clearly have no regard for our environment and prefer someone else to pick up after them.

“It is simply not acceptable. We all have a part to play in keeping Carmarthenshire clean.”

Residents are reminded to put their waste and recycling out for collection after 6pm on the evening before their collection day, and to ensure they carry out their duty of care by checking they are using a licensed waste carrier to take away any waste on their behalf.

People using community recycling sites are reminded that they should not leave items on the ground, and are asked to report full containers to the council.

Anyone who has witnessed a littering or dog fouling incident, or has information about fly-tipping offences, can contact the council online 24/7 at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales or during office hours on 01267 234567.

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