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Cardiff authorities push for monthly residual waste collections

Currently, Cardiff council collects residual household waste in black bags or black wheeled bins on a fortnightly basis, while both food waste and commingled recycling is collected every week.

However, the government body has recently voiced its aims to boost recycling levels by either collecting residual household waste every four weeks or by reducing the capacity of its wheeled waste bins.

This drastic move is in response to a report issued in early October stating that things had to change for the city’s in-house collection services in order to meet statutory recycling targets and comply with forthcoming TEEP regulations on recycling collections.

After all, Cardiff’s recycling rate fell to 50% last year, having achieved a rate of 52% in 2012/13.

More shockingly, in order to reach the 2019/20 target of 64%, Cardiff estimates that it will need to recycle around 32,000 tonnes of additional waste each year. The current recycling volume in Cardiff is 86,578 tonnes per year. Failure to meet the targets carries a £200 per tonne penalty.

Unfortunately, the council’s woes don’t end here. There are concerns that because of these failing the council could face penalty fines from the Welsh Government in excess of £800,000 – equating to more than £21 million between now and 2020.

Therefore the reduction of council collections could be the arrow to their bow on this occasion, but the reaction from the public is not likely to be in accordance.

According to the report, the household recycling rate "has now plateaued and is unlikely to change without a service change to drive recycling out of the residual waste bins and bags” and highlights that "education and persuasion will be insufficient to drive recycling”. 

We for one agree. It is the duty of the government, councils and the waste and recycling industry to be the driving force behind the education of the ordinary man on the importance of recycling and more importantly how they can play their part.

Although Communities Secretary Eris Pickles has regularly voiced his strong support for households having waste collected every week, more and more councils in England and Wales have moved to, or are considering, residual waste collections every three or four weeks in attempts to boost recycling rates and make financial savings.

This debate will surely continue to evolve as council’s react to the growing pressures being put upon them to meet recycling targets on our run up to 2020.


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