Resource Use

Swansea reduces waste arisings with black bag limit

Swansea City & County Council has reduced waste arisings by 700 tonnes after introducing a residual waste limit.

According to new council figures, after implementing the three-bag residual waste limit campaign, ‘Keep it to 3’, in April 2014, the amount of waste collected from residents on a fortnightly basis dropped by 700 tonnes (compared to the same period the year before).

Indeed, on the first day of the campaign, which included a communications push and competitions, the council said it collected 30 tonnes less black bag waste than usual.

It is hoped the limit will not only lower the amount of waste sent to landfill (thus saving the council money), but also boost the local recycling rate. Swansea recycled an average of 49 per cent of its waste in the 12 months to June 2013, missing the country’s first statutory recycling rate of 52 per cent.

The council will have to reach 58 per cent recycling by 2016 to meet the next statutory target (and avoid having to pay a £200 fine for every tonne of waste under the target).

‘Helping reduce the risk of fines’

The council has thanked residents for their effort and support, adding that ‘comparatively few’ households have had to be contacted about putting out too many black bags.

June Burtonshaw, Cabinet Member for Place, said: "I want to say 'thank you' to all those residents who are doing their bit to reduce the amount of waste our city is sending to landfill.

"We should all remember that one less tonne to landfill is one more tonne to recycling and that means one tonne closer to hitting the 58 per cent Welsh Government recycling target by 2016.

"At a time when budgets are tight, residents who Keep it to 3 are helping reduce the risk of fines for stepping over the 58 per cent mark."

She added: "What we all need to do now is keep up the good work over the coming months. Our recycling teams will be out and about across the city knocking on doors offering advice to residents, including those who are struggling to meet the 'Keep it to 3' target."

Chris Howell, Head of Waste at Swansea Council, also commented, saying: "It has been great to see how well local residents have embraced the campaign. There have been very few occasions on which we've had to issue stickers to a small number of people who have been over the limit."

Find out more about Swansea’s residual waste limit.