Swansea residents have been increasing the amount of recycling they do during the pandemic and are on course to hit the Welsh Government’s 64% recycling target this year.
The Labour-led Council recycling and waste teams have ensured kerbside collection has been maintained throughout the pandemic and that’s showing in rising tonnages of recycling collected over the last 10 months.
Labour Cllr Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement and Infrastructure Management, said the rising trend in collections appeared to be because more people were staying at home or working from home.
But it was also due to the fact that despite the challenges of the pandemic, kerbside collection services had been maintained throughout the 10 months of the pandemic so far.
Cllr Thomas said: “Many councils have had to reduce their kerbside recycling and waste collection services during the pandemic.
“But we’ve not had to do that thanks to the commitment of our teams who’ve visited more than 100,000 homes every week to pick up recycling or waste.
“Our recycling teams have been here for the people of Swansea throughout the pandemic. It is a challenge because like everyone else we’ve had to manage staff sickness and the need for some to self-isolate due to others in their households having the virus. But the service has been maintained and we remain on course to hit the Welsh Government’s 64% recycling rate this year.”
As well as kerbside collections, the council has also maintained bulky waste services and kept its recycling centres open when Welsh Government regulations have allowed it to.
Cllr Thomas added: “After the initial lockdown was over and we were able to re-open our bulky waste collection service and recycling centres there was a surge in demand with people putting old sofas, mattresses, washing machines and ageing garden furniture on their ‘to-go’ list.
“We’ve recycled as much of the extra materials as we can and we’re setting up a new wood recycling unit to help us recycle thousands of tonnes of wood we receive a year.”
All five council recycling centres are open, though residents have to book appointments to visit the Llansamlet site which is the only centre that will accept wood.
The Tip Treasures shop remains closed in line with current Welsh Government regulations, though staff at recycling centres continue to accept limited donations which will soon be available online on the Tip Treasures eBay account.
To find out how we can all help maintain recycling rates through the latest lockdown go to www.swansea.gov.uk/recycling