Monmouthshire black-bag trash must be halved
2:40pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
HOUSEHOLDERS in Monmouthshire will be asked to cut their black bag rubbish by half on average when the council introduces a radical change to its kerbside collection service.
The county will become the first in the UK to introduce clear bags for household waste in a bid to save £600,000 each year and 6,000 tonnes of waste fromlandfill.
The expected savings come from reducing the cost of sending material to landfill and tax on it, as the council hopes householders will become wiser about recycling.
The council said there will be no job cuts, just greater efficiencies in the way the waste is managed From July 1 residents will only be able to put out two bags of general rubbish in transparent bags in the fortnightly collection.
Rachel Howitt, the council’s waste strategy and resource manager, moved to quash fears that the council will be snooping in people’s rubbish.
She said: “We are not the bag police and will not be issuing fines.
“This is about helping people to recycle and working with householders.”
If too much recyclable waste is seen in the bags the council said crews might make a note of it and send waste-awareness officers round for a friendly chat.
Otherwise a leaflet about recycling will be posted through the door.
The council will supply a year’s worth of bags in a free pack that will include information, support and advice on the service and be sent out to homes in June.
The council wants to hear from large families who may need extra allocation.
Those needing to dispose of nappies and other hygiene waste will benefit froma separate weekly collection, as do green bags and food waste.
The initiative is part of a major campaign to encourage people to recycle more.
Last year the council collected 12,500 tonnes of kerbside rubbish and on average three to four bags per household.
Around 70 per cent still left in black bags is recyclable, of that 33 per cent is food.
Residents will have the option of registering to have their garden waste collected at £8 per garden bag a year.
People can ask for more food waste bins and recycling bags at a One-Stop Shop.
Bryan Jones, the cabinet member for county operations, said: “This is part of a major campaign to improve recycling rates in the county and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
“It’s costing us £3 million to get rid of the rubbish each year. That’s three million one pound coins we are shoving into a great big hole.
“We are asking the public to help us save them money by doing their recycling better.
A lot of people do it well and some don’t do it at all.”
● Meanwhile, the closure of a southern recycling facility used by Monmouthshire Council will see the county’s paper, glass and plastic transported to the Midlands instead, potentially saving £200,000.
The 8,000 tonnes of material which went to a site owner by D S Smith in Southampton each year will now be heading to Britain’s largest facility of its type, run by Biffa in Aldridge.
The two-year deal, announced last month, is expected to return around £200,000 to council funds over that period.
COMMENT: Bin ‘spies’ will cause irritation FROM the outset let us say that we support recycling.
We also fully understand that all local authorities across Wales, including Monmouthshire, are facing tough Assembly-imposed targets governing the amount of waste that can be sent to landfill.
These targets are not optional for councils.
So we have some sympathy with Monmouthshire Council and its efforts to think of newways to meet those targets at the same time, of course, as cutting costs.
But we can’t help feeling that the most recent solution to limit black-bag rubbish per household will prove unpopular with householders, who may well feel they are being spied on by the local authority.
And if they do they will, in our view, resent it.
Instead of black bags, householders will be provided with clear bags and will be urged to recycle more by being asked to cut the amount they discard by half.
From July 1 residents will only be allowed to put out two bags of non-recyclable rubbish. Given that the bags will be clear, instead of the traditional black, any recyclable waste included will be easily spotted.
And if people are throwing out waste which could be recycled they will be contacted by the council.
The council makes a point of saying it will not be issuing fines, but we can’t help feeling people will not relish getting a call from the council after it has, in all but name, gone through their bins. For recycling to work the council needs to have its residents’ support.