BLAENAU Gwent council has launched a new campaign to encourage the minority of households who do not recycle to start now.

The “Keeping up with the Joneses” campaign will focus on households in the borough that recycle “very little or nothing at all.”

The authority says residents can ask for a member of its recycling team to visit their home, to show them how to sort and recycle their rubbish.

But it is reminding residents that if they ignore the support on offer, and continue not to recycle, they could face a fine of £100 or appear in court.

Cllr Garth Collier, deputy leader of the council, said: “Most people recycle their rubbish, but now it’s time that everyone does.

“When households don’t recycle every week, rubbish bins can overflow, making a mess and increasing the risk of problems with smells and other issues.

“This not only causes a nuisance to the community, but costs time and money to clear up.”

New measures, including the threat of fines for persistently leaving excessive waste, helped the authority record a recycling rate of 59.26 per cent last year.

The improvement, from 56 per cent the previous year, means the council will avoid any fines, having hit the 58 per cent Welsh Government target for the first time.

The authority is now bidding to make further improvements to meet the Welsh Government’s new target of 64 per cent for 2019/20.

Cllr Collier said the campaign would “only affect those households who don’t make the effort to recycle much or anything at all”.

He added: “We don’t want to take enforcement action, but it’s not fair on the whole community if a few households continue not to recycle what they can, if everyone else is.”

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