Recycling rates in Swansea and across Wales have increased rapidly over the past decade and the waste sent to landfill has dropped, but how will the momentum be kept up?...
The Swansea Environment Strategy was published by SEF in 2006 and so 2016 marks its 10th Anniversary. Every two years, SEF has undertaken a comprehensive review to measure and assess progress being made on the 22 priorities (aims) outlined in the Strategy. The review report and a simpler summary document can be downloaded from this website – click here.
The latest review points to progress being made in a number of different areas. Notable developments include an increase in the range of organisations and community groups involved in managing sites for the benefit of biodiversity and people. This is illustrated by a significant increase in Green Flag Community Awards and the establishment of networks for community growing projects and friends of parks groups. Improvements also continue to be made in the build environment with homes and public buildings becoming more energy efficient and many derelict properties being brought back into use. The number of properties in Swansea at high risk of flooding has reduced while recycling rates and the amount of energy generated through local renewable sources have risen.
However, great challenges remain, particularly in relation to safeguarding our natural assets, restoring contaminated land, improving access to public transport, dealing with air and water quality, meeting the demand for affordable housing and encouraging behaviour change towards more sustainable lifestyles and practices.