Swansea Labour has been at the forefront of a campaign to get more residents in the City and County recycling more.
And now more household waste than ever is being recycled following the launch of an initiative at the start of 2019.
The Labour-controlled Swansea Council introduced its ‘Keep it out’ campaign in February in a bid to get non-recyclers on board with other households already doing their bit by using kerbside recycling services.
The campaign involved Council recycling officers carrying out on-street surveys of black bag waste to see if recyclable materials were being placed in them.
Residents not recycling were then issued with a letter advising they could be at risk of being issued with a fixed penalty notice if they continued not to recycle.
The initiative has led to a reduction of around 120 tonnes of black bag waste collected every fortnight and has led to an increase in the amount of recyclable waste collected.
The Council is aiming to achieve a 2,600T reduction of the total amount of black bag waste collected during the year and is expected to save more than £0.25m in landfill disposal costs as a result.
To date, around 90,000 homes have been visited with a total of 5,046 initial warning letters issued to homes where black bags contained recyclables.
The positive response from residents to start recycling has led to only two fixed penalties being issued since the campaign started.
Labour councillor Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure, said: “Residents in Swansea are playing their part in making sure recyclables are not placed in black bags.
“The majority of residents that received an initial warning letter started recycling immediately and follow up surveys showed significant improvements and no further action was needed.
“Out of more than 5,000 letters issued – we have only needed to issue two fixed penalty notices. This is a great response from residents and means we are collecting less black bags at the kerbside.
“The reduction in black bag waste means we are sending less waste to landfill and as a result we are able to make significant savings on our annual landfill disposal costs.”
In recent weeks, hundreds of recycling information packs have also been sent to university students who are moving to the city for the start of the new term.
The packs provide information about the current recycling services and explain how students can help keep their communities clean and free of litter during their stay.
Cllr Thomas added: “Every year we do all we can to make sure new and returning students in Swansea have all they need to join other residents in recycling.
“Some will not be familiar with our kerbside services so we want to give them everything they need to manage household waste.”