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BOXING Champion Joins FIGHT Against WASTE!

The gloves are on, the game is on and the fight against food waste across Rhondda Cynon Taf is most definitely ON!

Local undefeated professional boxing champion Rhys Edwards has joined Rhondda Cynon Taf Council in their latest campaign to help increase the number of households taking up food waste recycling in RCT.

Rhys, who is a local and international boxing legend from Penygraig, Tonypandy knows all too well how important it is to eat healthily to stay in peak physical condition – this often involves lots of high protein meals and fresh fruit. This means leftover eggshells, banana skins, apple stumps and more! All these inedible leftovers can help us power up in the fight against food waste and help us hit the Welsh Government Target of 70% by 2024/25.

“TWO banana skins can fully power THREE smartphones!”

A recent WRAP* kerbside black bag analysis of Rhondda Cynon Taf highlighted that black bag waste in RCT contained 39% of food waste items that could have been recycled! This is well above the “all Wales” figure of 25%!

Rhys was ready to take up the fight against waste and the professional, undefeated super featherweight champion declared it the biggest fight of his career so far!

“Black Bag, you’re having it! It’s a KNOCK OUT!”

Rhys, took part in a series of light hearted videos, which are set to showcase across the Council’s social media channels in the next few weeks and on the big screen of Showcase cinema, Nantgarw – highlighting why we all need to join Rhys in this FIGHT that we can’t afford to lose!

Rhys Edwards, aka Rhys Lightening, said: “I’m so pleased to be asked to lead the fight against waste and climate change in my hometown! Our valley is one of the most beautiful in the world and it needs to stay that way. If we all act now, we can all make a difference in the fight against climate change – it’s the simple things we do, like making sure that banana ends up in the food waste caddy instead of the black bag or walking to the local shop to buy your eggs.

“As a local boy I care deeply about the area and would urge everyone to get behind this fight – it’ll be the most important one we ever fight and one we can’t afford to lose!”

In Rhondda Cynon Taf we are taking actions to recycle and the BIG FIGHT against climate change is ON. In July this year the Council changed its black bag and wheeled bin collections to three-weekly in a bid to increase recycling rates and reduce carbon emissions! So far the early recycling rates for dry and food are all on the up and overall black bag waste is going down – which means that residents are taking up the challenge ‘Let’s UP Our Recycling GAME’ and ‘Let’s Hit the TARGET! If we all continue our efforts then RCT is on the winning track in its fight against waste!  

The Council also introduced sustainable and reusable green sacks for green waste collections in November 2021 and this has helped the Council to reduce its overall plastic usage by millions of clear bags annually. These changes to the green waste collection service and the change to a bookable service for the Winter Green Collections are helping to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint.

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure, said:

“Well, I think Rhys says it all – The FIGHT is ON! Together we all have to up our game and join the fight against, food waste and climate change, by reducing what we use, re-using all that we can and when that isn’t possible, we MUST recycle! Rhys is undefeated in all his fights so far and is doing our County Borough proud – lets join him and make sure our County Borough become a leading recycling champion! So far RCT residents have been doing a MIGHTY good job and I would like to thank them for their HUGE recycling efforts, they have been fantastic. If we keep this FIGHT up, we will not only hit the Welsh Governments target of 70% we will SMASH it and, well before 2024/25 – well done RCT!

“As a Council we do our best to make recycling easy and accessible for all – with a simple one bag system for dry recyclables. Our Community Recycling Centres are situated to within a few miles of each resident and are open 7 days a week, even bank holidays.

“We should continue to be proud of our recycling efforts, but there is still more we can do. We know our residents care about climate change and want to do all they can to make Wales and Rhondda Cynon Taf a cleaner and greener place. Together we can help to get Wales to number one and protect the planet by recycling more of the right things and reducing contamination every time.”

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More information on recycling can be found by visiting

Posted on 16/11/2023