WASTE collection and recycling is a key contributor to what is estimated could be a £1.2 million overspend on environmental services in Blaenau Gwent this year.

Coronavirus has had an impact on all aspects of the council’s budget, but it is environment that is predicted to take the biggest hit.

And a Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council report says the biggest concern in the department’s budget is waste collection and recycling.

The budget for waste collection is facing a £550,000 overspend because of an increase in non-recyclable waste, combined with a loss of income from charging for trade waste.

The Welsh Government has helped to cover some of these costs as part of its Wales-wide response to the coronavirus pandemic, but this aid only spans the April-June period.

The report says that the reintroduction of enforcement should reduce the forecast over the rest of the year.


But with increasing coronavirus restrictions - Blaenau Gwent has gone into a local lockdown this week - it is not yet clear what impact these may have.

The environment budget could also take a big hit from building cleaning, which is forecasting a £245,000 overspend.

This has mainly resulted from a loss of income from services for schools during the summer term. However, this is being considered by the Welsh Government as part of a claim for a clawback in funds.

Other council departments are predicting overspends, while others may underspend - and the overall estimate to date, once all of these pluses and minuses are weighed up, is an overall predicted overspend also of £1.2m for 2020/21.

The biggest contribution to this total across all departments is the council tax reduction scheme, which is forecasting a £627,000 overspend.

The report says: “This due to an increase in the number of claimants, resulting from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It has been assumed that the increased level of claimants will continue for the remainder of the financial year.”

The report and its potential implications will be considered by the council’s budget scrutiny committee next Monday, September 28.