A recycling revolution is on its way to Bridgend County Borough
8 February 2017
A recycling revolution is coming to Bridgend County Borough this summer which features all-new recycling containers that will help homes become even more ‘green’, a separate collection for nappies and a two bag limit on the amount of rubbish that residents can throw out every fortnight.
Bridgend County Borough Council is finalising a new seven year contract with its waste partner, Kier Environmental, which will provide kerbside recycling and waste collections as well as three recycling centres in the county borough.
The current kerbside collection scheme enables 58 per cent of all household waste to be recycled, but by the time that the new contract will end in 2024-25, councils across Wales will need to hit a new recycling target of 70 per cent – otherwise they will face costly penalties from the Welsh Government.
That’s why the council and Kier are introducing a series of changes in June 2017 aimed at making Bridgend County Borough one of the most recycling-friendly places to live in Wales.
Councillor Hywel Williams, Deputy Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, said: “The new procedures will begin early in June 2017 in order to provide sufficient time for the contract to be finalised and the recycling equipment to be manufactured and distributed.
“This will also provide enough time for publicising the new scheme and telling residents how they can apply for dispensations and support, and will coincide with the natural end of the existing recycling and waste collection calendars that have already been issued to households.”
New sturdy, weighted sacks and containers will be used for the weekly recycling collections. An orange fabric sack will be used to store cardboard, while paper will go into a new white fabric sack. The sacks will be made out of the same material as the existing blue fabric sacks that will continue to be used for recycling plastics and metal.
The orange and white fabric sacks will replace the two black boxes, which will no longer be used.
The containers used for recycling food waste will stay the same – one small brown caddy for inside the home, and one large brown caddy which is collected from the kerbside.
A new black caddy, similar to the large food waste caddy, will be introduced for recycling glass.
Councillor Williams said: “Across Wales, households are recycling double the amount that they did 10 years ago, but we all need to do even more over this next decade to develop the momentum and achieve the new recycling targets that have been set by Welsh Government.
“There is no limit on how much recycling each household can put out, and residents can receive additional sacks and boxes on request.
“Households that increase the amount that they recycle will have more room in the bags placed out for collection every two weeks, and we are also investigating ways of recycling further materials too.”
As councils who fail to meet recycling targets will face heavy fines, households will be restricted on how much non-recyclable waste can be thrown out in bags every fortnight.
For homes containing up to five residents, this will mean a maximum of two bags per fortnight. The bags, which will be both stronger and larger than the current black bags, will be specially coloured and branded – black bags will no longer be in use - and households will receive enough to cover a full year of the scheme.
As the vast majority of household waste can be recycled, only non-recyclable waste such as black plastic, film sleeves or polystyrene can be placed in the bags.
Councillor Williams added: “Research by recycling experts WRAP Cymru into the contents of the average black bag currently put out for collection in Bridgend County Borough has revealed that at least half consists of waste that could have been recycled, and that it is mostly made up of leftover food.
“With food, paper, cardboard, plastic, metal and glass waste all eligible for recycling and a separate collection in place for nappies and absorbent waste, there should be very little left to put inside the non-recyclable waste bag, leaving plenty of room for the few things that cannot be recycled – such as pet litter.
Extra bags and support
Households that produce nappies or other absorbent waste products (not sanitary products) will be able to register for a separate collection for this type of waste, removing the need to put it in the non-recyclable waste bags.
Properties with six or seven residents will be able to apply for an additional non-recyclable waste bag each fortnight, while homes containing eight or more people will be able to apply for two additional bags per fortnight.
All applicants will need to demonstrate that they are recycling as much as possible, and checks will be carried out to ensure that the extra bags are only being used for non-recyclable waste. Homes in receipt of the additional bags will need to apply for the dispensation every 12 months.
An additional bag will also be provided for homes where ash-producing coal fires provide the primary source of heat, while eligible householders will continue to receive an assisted collection service. The current garden waste service will also continue to be available.
Community Recycling Centres
There will also be big changes at the county borough’s existing civic amenity sites, which are set to become Community Recycling Centres.
Any waste taken to the sites will need to be separated so that all recyclable materials are placed in the correct recycling bins first – people will no longer be able to put it all in a black bag and throw it into a skip. To ensure that their trip to the Community Recycling Centre is as smooth and as efficient as possible, residents will be urged to pre-sort the waste that they are bringing to the site.
Plans are underway for opening an all-new Community Recycling Centre at the Village Farm Industrial Estate in Pyle in 2018, and the council and Kier are looking into establishing a re-use facility that can offer a range of recycled goods.
Support and enforcement
To help residents get used to using the new scheme, a team of officers will be visiting local communities and helping households with any queries, concerns or issues they may be experiencing.
While their role will focus on working with households to encourage as much recycling as possible, they will also deal with any deliberate abuse of the scheme and have the power to issue fixed penalty notices – but these will always only be used as a last resort.
Kier will also provide a dedicated call centre to support householders with all enquiries relating to the new service.
Councillor Williams continued: “We fully appreciate that adjusting to the new two bag limit might be more of a challenge for some homes than others, and we don’t intend to be heavy handed about it.
“But there is also a pressing need for us all to change our habits so that it becomes second nature for all homes to recycle whatever they can, and that’s why we’ll have a team out and about talking to residents as much as possible.
“In their ‘One Wales, One Planet’ sustainable development plan, the Welsh Government raises the bar for reducing waste and making recycling a priority for Wales, and I hope that residents will understand and support why these new procedures are necessary.
“As well as helping us to avoid significant financial penalties for missing the new targets, they are in line with the Welsh Government’s plans and will help ensure that our children can grow up and inherit a far cleaner, greener county borough.
“So that the change is seamless, I would encourage residents to start preparing for the new limits on waste by considering how much you are already recycling, and what you could do differently.”
Julian Tranter, Managing Director at Kier Environmental, said: “As one of the market leaders in kerbside sort recycling, Kier has worked closely with Bridgend County Borough Council to develop a new collection system to maximise recycling and position the county borough as one of the most highly performing areas in Wales.
“We look forward to working with the council and the local community over the next few months to prepare for the implementation of the new collection system, which will ensure as much waste as possible is recycled and converted into something useful such as energy or new products while reducing pressure on natural resources.”
Full details on the new recycling and waste collection procedures will be issued to all households along with a complete set of sacks, bags and containers before the new scheme begins early in June 2017.
This will include details about how households can apply for additional bags, the nappy and absorbent waste service, assisted collections and more.
There will also be a full publicity programme including community roadshows, advertising, FAQs, dedicated website and more – look out for more details soon.