Possible extra black bag allowances for larger families as council plans new waste collection service
29 July 2016
With kerbside waste collections in Bridgend County Borough set to be limited to two black bags per fortnight from 1 April 2017, local residents are being invited to give their views on possible extra allowances for larger families and those homes who need to dispose of ash from coal fires.
Last winter, Bridgend County Borough Council announced its plans for changing local waste collections so that it can continue to achieve stringent recycling targets that have been set by Welsh Government.
By 2024/25, Welsh councils will need to recycling 70 per cent of all household waste or face costly fines. The current target is 58 per cent.
From 1 April 2017 most homes in Bridgend County Borough will be restricted to throwing out two refuse bags per fortnight, but the local authority is considering what dispensation should be given to households with more than six occupants so that the new collection service can help to increase recycling rates while also being as fair as possible.
To help gather the views of local residents, the council is launching a public consultation which will ask for opinions on the following options:
1. Introducing an additional one bag waste collection for households with six or seven residents.
2. Introducing an additional two bag waste collection for households with eight or more residents.
3. Introducing an additional one bag waste collection for households using coal fires as a main source of heating (please note that this does not include log burners).
The public consultation will begin on Monday 1 August 2016 and will close on Monday 10 October 2016. It will be possible to give your views online at www.bridgend.gov.uk/consultation and also by completing questionnaires that will be available from local libraries.
Councillor Ceri Reeves, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “We previously promised to consult over what dispensations should be given for larger households, and this is the latest stage in our planning for the new waste collection service. We are keen to hear residents’ views on what would be the fairest options for homes with multiple occupants and people who use coal fires.”
Earlier this year, after gathering the views of local residents in an initial waste consultation, the council confirmed that recycling collections will continue to be weekly, and that there are no plans to start using wheelie bins for any collections.
Although the feedback from the consultation suggested that they would be favoured by younger residents, wheelie bins were less popular with older people, residents who do not have gardens or drives, or those who live on steeply inclined streets. Wheelie bins would also have cost more than £2m to introduce.
The local authority also confirmed that a separate collection scheme will be operated for nappies and other absorbent hygiene products, while the current clinical waste collections will continue.
The issue of pet waste has also been considered, but won’t be pursued as it would cost too much.
Councillor Reeves added: “At the moment our target is to recycle 58 per cent of all waste, but under new national requirements, the county borough will need to recycle 64 per cent by 2019-20 and 70 per cent by 2024-25.
“There are heavy penalties for not making the targets and missing it by just one per cent could result in a fine of £150,000, so the current kerbside system has to change to take account of this.
“We understand that changing how black bags are collected may not be popular, but people’s recycling habits across Wales need to move with the times, and our collection service needs to modernise in order for us to become even more ‘green’.
“As well as enabling us to recycle more, another vital requirement for the new service is that it must be cost effective. This is a major ongoing issue for us, given the current budget situation brought about by central government’s austerity measures.
“We ask all residents to please support us on this, understand why the changes are necessary, and start preparing for the new limits on black bags by considering how much you are already recycling, and what you could do differently.”
Waste collections in Bridgend County Borough are currently operated by Kier. The council’s next waste collections contract will run from 1 April 2017 until 31 March 2024, and in-depth information about how the new waste collection service will operate will be sent to all Bridgend County Borough homes in spring 2017.
To take part in the consultation over options for extra bags being allowed for large households and homes with coal fires, please visit www.bridgend.gov.uk/consultation