Swansea City Council has proposed to stop accepting residual waste at four of its five household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) in a crackdown on recyclable materials being disposed of in black bags.
It comes as part of a number of proposals in the council’s drive to recycle 64% of its waste by 2020, which all Welsh councils are required to do. The current recycling rate in Swansea is just over 58%.
According to the council’s analysis, around 70% of the materials in black bags currently disposed of at HWRCs could be recycled.
A report being discussed at the next cabinet meeting says the figure is “clearly unacceptable and requires a step change in behaviour to prevent these valuable resources being lost”.
It therefore proposes to convert Tir John, Penlan and Garngoch HWRCs to recycling centres only, with Clyne centre also potentially switching.
The larger Clyne and Llansamlet sites would be converted to accept only non-recyclable materials in their residual skips.
Other proposals include the roll-out of a reusable pink plastic bag collection scheme currently under trial, which involves residents using reusable sacks instead of plastic bags to dispose of household plastic at the kerb.
A fleet of new waste collection vehicles is also included in the recommendations featured in the report.
David Hopkins, cabinet member for environment and transportation, said: “Residents should not view recycling centres as a place they can simply throw away recyclable materials in black bags.
“Burying residual waste in black bags at landfill costs us around £4m a year and we have to look at better ways of tackling this issue.”
A review is also planned to look at increasing parking provision at the HWRCs so that queues can be reduced at peak times.
The proposed changes followed an in-depth commissioning review by the council which looked at the overall waste management service. A public consultation is also ongoing in relation to the proposals and how the public use HWRCs.