Recycling

Swansea Labour driving consultation plans to boost city recycling

The Labour-led Swansea Council is behind proposals to divert thousands of tonnes of recyclables from black bags in the city.

And plans are now being presented to the public for consultation as the council lookat how it can encourage residents who do not recycle to get on board to help reduce the amount of household waste sent to landfill.

Councils in Wales need to achieve a 64% recycling rate by 2019/20 and in Swansea the projected rate for 2018/19 is around 62%.

The consultation has started in the city and residents are being asked for their views on the Council’s preferred option, which is to prevent residents putting recyclable waste in black bags.

Labour Cllr Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure Management, said: “We have operated kerbside recycling services in Swansea for more than 15 years and the majority of households are taking part.

“Our ongoing surveys show that there are still residents who either refuse to recycle or do very little, opting only to use black bags.

“Our proposal is to work with these households to get them on board and hopefully get us up to the required 64% by the timescale the Welsh Government has stated.”

Some Councils in Wales have already taken measures to manage household waste and boost their recycling performance – this has included reducing the number of black bags households are allowed to put out and reducing the frequency of collections of black bag waste.

Cllr Thomas added: “While those measures may be effective elsewhere in the country, it’s not something we are considering. This would be unfair on those who are recycling and that’s not right in my opinion.

“We would rather look at measures that will only really affect households refusing to recycle.”

The proposals being considered would mean the council can letter-drop residents found not recycling and hopefully encourage them to get on board. The Council will also use its enforcement powers if letters fail to achieve the results they want.

Cllr Thomas said: “We already have enforcement procedures in place to make sure residents are using our recycling services properly. It’s right that we use these same powers to prevent recyclable waste going in black bags.”

In 2016, the Council converted several of its household waste sites so they only accept recyclable waste. Two further sites now include a section where black bags are checked to ensure they are only containing residual waste.

Recycling Consultation

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