HOUSEHOLDERS in Carmarthenshire are being urged not to dispose of batteries in black or blue bin bags.
It comes after strong evidence suggests that a fire in Carmarthen’s Nantycaws Recycling Centre last April which caused millions of pounds of damage may have been started by a battery that was disposed of in a blue recycling bag.
The fire destroyed the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) and the recycling centre was forced to close to the public for five days.
Batteries should be removed from any items that contain them such as rechargeable items, mobile phones, electric toothbrushes, toys, television remotes etc and then disposed of separately at a recycling centre or local battery recycling point.
Batteries that are difficult to remove from items can be recycled at the electrical bay at the recycling centre.
In the last five years, fires suspected or proved of being caused by Lithium Ion Batteries have more than doubled with 48% in 2021 compared to 21% in 2016/2017.
The most common inappropriate items within bin bags presented for kerbside collection by residents include electrical waste such as toasters children’s toys, hair styling equipment, separate old batteries ranging from standard cell batteries to rechargeable lithium ion batteries and mobile devices.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Hazel Evans said: “Thankfully no one was injured in the fire in Carmarthen’s Nantycaws Recycling Centre last year. Please do not put loose dead batteries or items that hold batteries in your bin bags with other rubbish, it is extremely dangerous and the consequences can be very serious. All our recycling centres have facilities to dispose of your batteries safely as well as many shops and supermarkets that have battery collection points.”
The batteries are initially compromised when unknowingly crew throw the bags containing electrical items into the vehicles which get compacted, they are then transported to the MRF where they can come into contact with further materials that can result in serious consequences.
Richard Vaughan-Williams, Arson Reduction Manager at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service added: “Lithium-ion batteries can be found in an increasing number of consumer items and disposing of such items has become a growing concern, especially for our partners who operate waste management facilities. Even small lithium-ion batteries can present a very real danger of an intense fire which can then spread quickly. We advise those looking to dispose of batteries to carefully consult waste instructions from their local authority.”
Last year The Environmental Services Association launched a campaign to raise awareness of incorrectly recycling batteries. Millions of pounds worth of damage caused by discarded batteries happens at recycling centres every year and endangers the lives of people who work in them.
Christmas Toy Box Appeal to support families
CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has launched its annual Christmas Toybox Appeal.
The appeal, in its 11th year, helps hundreds of children with families who can’t afford to buy toys or gifts.
Last year saw us help more families than ever who were struggling financially with more than 7,500 gifts were distributed to 1,256 children.
The appeal was launched online for the first time in 2020 following the coronavirus pandemic and people were asked to make a financial donation instead of buying gifts and toys. Given the current situation people are asked to donate in the same way.
Gifts will be bought out of the money donated and given to families who, for a range of reasons, are not able to give their children a Christmas that most of us take for granted.
Schools, family centres and youth workers identify those who are in greatest need of support.
Council staff will purchase gifts and toys and distribute them in the run-up to Christmas.
The council’s executive board member responsible for the Toybox Appeal, Cllr Mair Stephens said: “Last year we saw an unprecedented demand from families struggling to buy their children gifts. The appeal ensured that local children, who might otherwise have received nothing or very little, were given a gift at Christmas. We have always had fantastic support from the public and couldn’t do it without their help. Every donation, no matter how big or small, will make a huge difference to those less fortunate families. So please dig deep and donate to the online Christmas appeal.”
You can make a financial donation by visiting their website
If you have a cash or cheque donation please call 01267 234567.
Whitland Classic Motor club donates £1,000 to charity
WHITLAND CLASSIC MOTOR CLUB has donated £1,000 to the Wales Air Ambulance after raising funds through raffles and their organised car ‘runs’.
The group of car enthusiasts, which meet on the last Thursday of each month at Whitland Rugby Club, were unable to arrange their usual fundraising events due to the coronavirus pandemic but raised funds through charging members a £1 a ticket for raffles and £2 per motor for their car runs.
During the warmer and lighter months of the year the club hold regular car ‘runs’ for members, which sees a variety of classic cars, trucks and motorcycles enjoying a drive round the countryside. The members then meet up for either Sunday lunch, afternoon tea or a picnic.
Over the years Whitland Classic Motor Club has fundraised for different charities including Carmarthenshire Children’s Centre and the Stroke Association. The club originally raised £1,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance during 2008/10 and members elected to support the charity again in 2018.
Now operational 24/7, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to keep the helicopters flying.
Secretary and membership secretary for Whitland Classic Motor Club, Xoe Meadows, said: “We originally started raising money two years ago but had to stop during the pandemic and have only recently started up again. Obviously with the situation last year, we couldn’t raise anything but decided that once we were back up and running we could carry on raising funds for Wales Air Ambulance. The public are really supportive when it comes to the Wales Air Ambulance. Although I don’t think they actually realise how much money is needed to have this service.
“The 24/7 service is really important, people don’t just need help from 9am to 5pm. Accidents can happen at any time of night or day, so I feel the 24/7 service is vital.”
Wales Air Ambulance offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’.
The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care.
Wales Air Ambulance long serving volunteer John Hardwicke attended their recent social event to collect the cheque on behalf of the charity.
John treated the members to a very informative speech on the lifesaving work the charity does for the people of Wales.
Xoe, added: “Mr Hardwicke was an absolute knowledge of information. The speech he gave was very informative and interesting. He is a true and proper gentleman. Thank you so much.”
Katie Macro, the Charity’s South West Wales Community Fundraiser, said: “A huge thank you to everyone at Whitland Classic Motor Club for raising £1,000. We are delighted that the club has continued to support the charity. Over the years Whitland Classic Motor Club has supported the Wales Air Ambulance by raised funds for our lifesaving charity which has helped us be there for the people of Wales when they’ve needed us most.”
There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance.
These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com.
Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.
For more information on Whitland Classic Motor Club visit www.whitlandclassicmotorclub.co.uk
British Heart Foundation Cymru’s home store in Carmarthen is appealing unwanted furniture
THE CORONAVIRUS pandemic had a devastating impact on the British Heart Foundation’s income, leading to a potential £50 million cut in research funding and the delay of important scientific breakthroughs. The charity is now urgently asking the local community to support it by simply donating good quality items that they have been clearing out at home.
BHF Cymru’s charity shop on the Pensarn Retail Park opened in November 2019, just a few months before the pandemic. Despite a challenging start, the team of staff and volunteers, led by manager Linda Ryan have stayed positive and focused on raising as much money as possible to fund the charity’s life saving research.
The store stocks a range of new and pre-loved items, including the recent addition of an entertainment section of books, music and DVDs. But they are desperately in need of donations of furniture to continue to raise money for BHF-funded research into heart and circulatory disease, which will affect 1 in 4 people in Wales.
Store Manager Linda Ryan said, “Thanks to the amazing support of our customers in Carmarthen, we need more sofas, bedroom and lounge furniture, beds and electrical items at our wonderful store. We can arrange to collect large items for free, and customers can support us further by Gift Aiding their donation, making their money worth 25% more to help us fund the science which saves lives in Wales.”
Every item sold will be turned into funds for research that could help transform the lives of the 340,000 people in Wales living with heart and circulatory diseases.
“Like all charity shops, the last 18 months have been tough for us”, said Linda. “We’re delighted to be fully up and running now, and our staff and volunteers have been brilliant, enabling us to welcome our customers safely into the store. Our free collections service is in full-swing, with Covid-secure measures in place and is available to book online.
“We are more than happy to receive any quality unwanted furniture, electrical and homewares so we can continue to raise money in support of our lifesaving research. It’s easy to donate and depending on your preference, our van crews will either collect from your room of choice, your doorstep or an alternative safe access point. All collections will be signature free.”
Linda said “It is absolutely wonderful to be back open again after such a challenging period of being closed during lockdown. I’m so proud of our volunteers and I’m incredibly pleased to be able to welcome them back. Most of our volunteers have been with us since we opened a few years ago and they are just delighted to be back, we all are.
“Lots of our volunteers have personal reasons for wanting to support BHF’s work. Many have a loved one with a heart condition, or a heart condition themselves. Others are just looking to give back to the community or learn new skills. This year, we are all celebrating the BHF’s 60th birthday because we know that our work, as staff and volunteers is vital to fund research that saves lives. “
Linda added, “We have people from all walks of life who come to here to refurnish their homes. We often get unique antique pieces in, or items which are great for upcycling. It’s great to be able to give furniture a new lease of life whilst saving it from landfill. But we are always looking for more donated stock”.
Two key members of the store’s volunteer team are Dave Broadrick, 68, and Peter Mclveney, 68.
Dave, who lives in Pembrey, says the pair enjoy assembling flat pack furniture and breathing new life into vintage pieces which they upcycle by adding a coat of paint or varnish and wallpapering the insides.
“It’s wonderful to be able to do something to help people, now that I’m retired,” the former London cabbie and window cleaner says, “Pete and I have a great time bringing these things back to their former glory, and improving them a lot of the time, with a lick of paint and a bit of TLC.
“I love volunteering. After I moved to Wales from London 9 years ago, I had a little shop of my own in Kidwelly, where I’d refurbish furniture, and that’s where I met Pete. He’d help out, stripping things down and rebuilding them with me. We had a great time. When I gave that up, I wanted to do something positive with my time to make a difference, and my wife spotted that the BHF needed volunteers. I haven’t looked back.”
Area manager Sharon Jones says: “Pete and Dave have come straight back to the store after lockdowns and are both invaluable team members who support the Warehouse, building flat packed furniture and working their magic on vintage items. We are grateful to them and everyone who gives up their time to support the BHF.”
Head of BHF Cymru Adam Fletcher said: “We currently fund £3 million into research in Wales to help prevent, treat and cure heart and circulatory diseases.
"Every pound raised in our shops helps us to support the 340,000 people in Wales living with heart and circulatory diseases, many of whom are at increased risk from Covid-19. Shopping at the BHF, or donating your quality items, will help us to help them.”
BHF shops and stores have measures in place to keep staff, volunteers and customers safe.
Customers will also be able to donate items at contact-free donation points set up at BHF shop entrances.
The charity operates a free collection service for furniture items. To find out more visit
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