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Cardiff begins new waste service

The City of Cardiff Council has begun a new waste service this week (27 July), which limits the amount of residual waste householders can put out for collection, and bans the use of black bags.

Cardiff begins new waste service

Previously, residents in some areas of the city placed their residual waste into black bags for collection once a fortnight, while others (largely those living in properties without steps) had their waste collected on a fortnightly basis in 240-litre bins.

However, in an effort to boost recycling and meet Wales’s statutory recycling targets, the council has now limited the amount of waste residents can put out.

It is hoped that the new service will enable the council to reach the 2015/16 target of recycling 58 per cent of its waste (it is currently expected to reach 53 per cent by April 2016). For every one per cent missed, the council could be fined £400,000.

Changes to service

Those with bag collections are now expected to use red-striped bags for residual waste, which will be collected once a fortnight. However, residents will need to limit their waste arisings to three bags a week, as they will only receive a delivery of 39 bags every six months, and will not be able to purchase any more. Households with more than six occupants can apply for more bags, but will need to demonstrate to a council officer that they ‘make full use of the weekly recycling and food waste service’ before being granted any.

The council has also warned that black bags will not be collected, and that any resident who puts out a black bin bag for collection could face a fine of £100.

Residents with bin collections will also see their residual waste limited, as they will now need to use a 180-litre rather than a 240-litre waste bin. Similarly, larger householders wanting an extra bin would need to show that they are ‘fully utilising’ the recycling services.

The council has also changed the way that garden waste is collected, with reusable sacks being rolled out to houses with little storage space, and others being given 240-litre wheelie bins. These will be collected once every two weeks in summer and once a month in winter.

Recycling and food waste collections remain unchanged and will continue to be collected on a weekly basis in the current manner. The hygiene waste collection service will also continue to be operated on its current fortnightly routine.

Green bin protest

The new green wheelie bins have not been favourably received by some residents, however, with some taking to social media outlet Twitter using the hashtag #bingate to report that they had received a green waste bin despite not having a garden, while others said they had received more than one bin.

Ahead of the launch of the new service, some residents protested against the green waste collection changes by lining up their unwanted green wheelie bins outside the council building on Thursday (23 July). A petition has also been launched to ‘stop the introduction of wheelie bins to terraced streets in Cardiff’. It has so far gained 320 signatories.

The petition is addressed to cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Bob Derbyshire, who said: “I know a few residents haven’t welcomed moving to a wheeled bin service. But I’d like to point out that when we consulted with the public prior to the changes just under 75 per cent of those surveyed agreed that we should expand the use of wheeled bins in the city.

“Also, if people live in properties without gardens and have received a green wheeled bin for garden waste in error, let us know and we’ll arrange to pick it up as soon as possible. Residents can ring our ‘Connect to Cardiff’ service on 2087 2087. There’s also an option to have a smaller 140-litre green bin to match your 140-litre bin for general household waste if required.”

Derbyshire added that similar waste limitation measures had worked elsewhere in Wales, highlighting that Monmouth achieved a 30 per cent increase in recycling when it introduced a two-bag waste limit for its fortnightly general waste service in 2013, and that Swansea saw a 25 per cent recycling increase following its move to a maximum of three bags per fortnight last year.

The council added: ‘The new changes will cost just under £2 million but when this is compared to the fines that could be imposed if statutory recycling targets are missed, this is certainly money well spent.’

Find out more about Cardiff’s new waste service.

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