SMALLER bins have helped reduce waste and increase recycling in Newport, but the city is still falling short of its targets, a scrutiny committee heard yesterday.

Presented with a report on Waste Recycling, the street scene, regeneration and safety scrutiny committee heard the council missed its recycling targets for 2013/14.

Newport is currently in line to meet 52 per cent recycling this year. For 2015/16, the target is 58 per cent.

Both targets- the European Landfill diversion target and the Welsh Government target, carry a £200 per tonne fine for failing.

Chair of the committee, councillor Roger Jeavons said: “If we don’t meet these targets, there are consequences. The cost implications are passed down to the council tax payer.”

But the introduction of smaller 180 litre bins has been a part in the reduction of residual waste and increase in recycling in the city. There has been a 15 per cent increase in plastic recycling since the new bins were introduced.

Cllr Paul Hannon said awareness of the importance of recycling for Newport as a city, would incentivise people to recycle. He said: “A lot of people work in the waste industry in Newport. It’s an important part of the local economy.”

Cllr Paul Huntley voiced concerns about the 25-30 per cent of Newport households not recycling at all. He said: “I would consider some form of enforcement to make them recycle.”

Cllr Matthew Evans said there was a risk of there being “too much for people to take in” with the increasing need for people to separate and sort their recycling.

The long term proposals set out by the report were to meet the two different targets and to contine to provide quality low cost services.

The committee agreed education and engagement was vital to future developments and improvements in recycling. The report stated higher levels of enforcement and education carried out by other authorities had proven effective, but that a lack of funding and resources meant Newport hadn’t been able to implement such programmes.

Councillors Paul Huntley and Tom Bond voiced interest in forming part of a sub-group to look at the recycling issues and report back to the main committee.