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Torfaen considers monthly waste collections

A council is investigating monthly residual waste collections in order to meet Welsh recycling targets.

Torfaen council recycles 52% of its waste, but from 2015/16 recycling targets in Wales will increase from 52% to 58%.

For every 1% that councils fall below the target they will be fined in the region of £100,000.

This means the council could face a £600,000 fine if its recycling rate remains at current levels.

Consequently, it will consult the public on three options to improve recycling and reduce landfill use:

  1. Maintaining a fortnightly collection with a smaller black wheelie bin
  2. Fortnightly collection of two refuse bags per household
  3. Monthly collection using the existing 240 litre black wheelie bin

All the options make allowances for dedicated nappy collection as well as additional waste collections at Christmas and New Year.

John Cunningham, the council’s executive member for neighbourhood services, said: “Although we have introduced collections for green waste, food and cardboard, recycling rates have only risen by around 9% in the last five years.

“This is simply not enough and as well as improving our recycling services, as we have done recently with extended plastic collections, like other councils across Wales we are going to have to restrict the amount of residual waste we collect.”

Some Welsh councils have already changed collection practices to improve rates:

  • Monmouthshire is restricting residual waste collections causing an uptake in recycling from 58% to 66%
  • Newport is distributing smaller bins to its residents
  • Swansea has restricted the number of black bags it will collect per household

Meawhile, Cardiff and other councils across Wales are also beginning their own review process.

Welsh councils must reach recycling rates of 70% by 2025.

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