A CARE home in Monmouthshire has been told to “shop around” after claiming new recycling rules could quadruple their costs.

The 34-bed Penpergwm House Residential Care Home near Abergavenny has been paying a waste management company to collect their waste and have it separated off-site.

But from April 6, a new law comes into effect in Wales which obliges all workplaces - including offices, shops and venues - to separate their recycling waste.

Georgie Llewelyn, general manager of Penpergwm House, fears they could face bills of more than £1,000 as a result.

“Up until now we have been using a very good company to collect all our recyclable material and separate it at their site, but they’ve written to us and told us they will no longer be able to do that and in future will only collect the black sacks of mixed residual waste," she said.

“We have been paying them £250 a month to collect from our two 1100-litre bins with clinical waste collected separately by a specialist company, and we’ve been incinerating our paper and cardboard.

“I’ve had one quote which was for £150 a week plus VAT and that doesn’t cover the paper and cardboard which will also have to be collected. It’s going to cost us over £1,000 a month.”

South Wales Argus: The care home's waste management company will 'no longer' be able to continue their serviceThe care home's waste management company will 'no longer' be able to continue their service (Image: Patrick Olner)

A spokesperson for the Welsh Government has encouraged the business to “shop around” for recycling collection services.

Under the new law, food, glass, paper and plastic will have to be separated, as will unsold textiles and small electrical equipment.

Ms Llewelyn said the team only learned of the change in November and attended an online webinar last month, leaving them with “just weeks” to prepare.

READ MORE: New law requires businesses and schools in Wales to recycle

“We have waste bins in each resident’s room and these are emptied every day and bins around the home which are emptied three times a day," she said.

"But many of our residents have dementia and just don’t understand recycling so it will just be something else for our very busy staff to deal with.

“We are not a large care home but what will this be like for big care homes of 60 to 100 beds?

“Time is ticking now. We are going to have to pay through the nose and face the prospect in this rural area of having about five massive bin lorries turning up here every week.”


Chair of Care Forum Wales, Mario Kreft MBE, has compared the expectations placed on care homes with the leniency afforded to hospitals, who have been given an additional two years to comply.

“Care homes, which have just staggered out of four years of pandemic, don’t even get a year to adjust,” he said.

“They’ve been through this dreadful pandemic and kept hospitals functioning by taking hundreds of people off their hands and into the community so we need the Minister, Julie James, to tell us why there is an exemption for the NHS.

“That is because organising it is going to be difficult and the cost will be enormous but it is OK to put that on care homes who will have to increase their fees and take on more responsibility.

“The First Minister has described the social care sector as the scaffold which supports the NHS and I don’t think anyone has given any serious thought to the care homes of Wales or how that scaffold should remain in place.

“The sector has suffered enough – it’s on its knees. This is not a kind or intelligent thing to do.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We encourage businesses to shop around for a recycling collection service.

“We are confident the majority of private waste companies and local authorities in Wales can already offer compliant collections or are planning to provide compliant collections by the coming into force date.

“We have been working with partners, including Business Wales and WRAP, to identify good practice in material separation and bin location; train and upskill staff; and optimise and rationalise systems to reduce waste and minimise costs.”