Torfaen consults on monthly waste collections

Torfaen County Borough Council is calling on residents to respond to a consultation on the future of its waste collection service, which includes proposals to reduce residual waste collections to once a month.

In March of this year, the council announced that it was reviewing its residual waste collections in order to meet future statutory recycling targets for Welsh councils.

From 2015/16, recycling targets in Wales will increase from 52 per cent to 58 per cent, and then up to 70 per cent by 2025, with the Welsh Government outlining that councils could be fined in the region of £100,000 for every one per cent they fall below the line. Torfaen has warned that if this happens, residents could be affected either through reduced services, or higher fees and charges.

Options for service change

In a bid to increase its recycling levels to meet the 2025 target (Torfaen currently recycles 52 per cent of its waste), the council is now consulting on three options designed to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and increase participation in recycling schemes.

The options include:

Maintaining a fortnightly collection with a smaller (140 litres) black wheelie bin

This option would reportedly result in an annual saving of £78,000, although during the first year there will be an additional cost to the council of £754,000 to purchase the new smaller bins and promote the new service. This option would provide the council with the least amount of savings.

Limiting fortnightly collections of residual waste to two refuse bags per household

The most lucrative of the three options, the council estimates that this would result in an annual saving of £138,000, with an initial cost to the council of £38,000 to cover promotional activities

Moving to a monthly collection using the existing 240-litre black wheelie bin

This change would result in an annual saving of £56,000, and would cost the council £57,000 to cover promotional activities.

However, all three options would have allowances for the collection of additional waste at Christmas and New Year, and a dedicated collection for nappies will be available for those who need it.

Recycling collections, which include a food waste service, will continue to operate as normal.

Residents are being asked to respond to the consultation by 23.59pm on 30 June by identifying their preferred option and providing comments on how the council can help residents to recycle more.

All results will be published on 31 August.

‘Encouraging far more people to recycle’

Councillor John Cunningham, Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “We need to encourage far more people to recycle if we want to avoid being hit with huge fines and restricting the amount of general waste we collect will encourage residents who don’t recycle to use the facilities available to them.

“Our officers have identified three options that represent our best chance of meeting the future targets and we are asking Torfaen residents tell us which option they prefer. We will also be holding a series of road shows and question and answer session on social media in the coming weeks.”

The road shows will take place on the following dates:

  • 10/06/2014 - World Heritage Centre
  • 16/06/2014 - Asda
  • 17/06/2014 - Asda
  • 18/06/2014 - Pontypool Market
  • 19/06/2014 - Tesco
  • 20/06/2014 - Morrisons
  • 24/06/2014 - World Heritage Centre
  • 27/06/2014 - Cwmbran Shopping Centre

A series of Facebook Q&A sessions will also take place during June.

Read more about Torfaen’s waste collection consultation.