Keeping it to three

Swansea council has seen success with its initiative to limit the number of black bags residents can throw away. Resource reports. 

This article was taken from Issue 82

As local authorities are required to both cut costs and increase recycling, they are increasingly looking to limit the amount of waste householders can throw away, either by limiting bin sizes or reducing collection frequency. In Swansea’s case, the council opted for a ‘Keep it to 3’ scheme, starting in April 2014, restricting the number of black bags households can put out for collection to three per fortnight.

Chris Howell, Head of Waste at Swansea City & County Council, explains the thinking behind the initiative’s approach: “We did a survey to find out how many bags people were generally putting out, and we found that three was the right balance between having a significant impact, but also doing something that the vast majority of recyclers could manage. We were aware that another authority, Monmouthshire in South Wales, had a two-bag limit. However, we felt that as a first step, that was a bit harsh.”