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Council launches campaign to increase recycling as alternative to cutting bin collections

a purple lidded bin

The leader of Torfaen Council announced today that the consultation on proposals to change the collection of purple-lidded bins to every three or four weeks would stop and they were launching a campaign to increase recycling rates to meet the Welsh Government’s target of 70%

Councillor Anthony Hunt told councillors at this morning’s Full Council meeting that they had listened to residents’ concerns so far during the consultation and were going to support them to increase recycling from 62.7%

But he made clear that the collection of purple-lidded bins could change in the future “if we cannot raise the rate by changing behaviours”.

Cllr Hunt said he and the executive member for the environment had listened to residents’ suggestions and concerns and were prepared to take alternative action to increase household recycling rates, in line with the Welsh Government target of 70% recycling by 2025.

He also announced a new survey will begin next month to better understand the challenges some residents face in reducing what they put into their purple-lidded bins.

The feedback from both engagements will help inform a new Raise the Rate campaign, which will aim to achieve 70% household recycling without changing residual waste collections.

Cllr Hunt said: “Over the last few weeks thousands of residents have engaged in the recycling discussion. At our roadshows we’ve heard from people who are highly motivated by the challenge to reduce waste and the positive impact this will have on the environment.

“But we’ve also heard from people who are genuinely concerned about the impact of moving to 3 or 4 weekly rubbish collections and many residents unaware of all the items that can already be recycled weekly.

“Our objective remains to achieve the 70% recycling rate. If we fail to reach 70% by 2025, we face fines of £100,000 for every 1 percent we fall short and that could have a financial impact on all council services.

“If we cannot raise the rate by changing behaviours, we will be left with little choice but to reconsider systemic changes. But I believe we are all capable of doing more and collectively playing our part to keep as much out of your purple lidded bins as we can.”

The new Raise the Rate campaign will include an extensive public engagement and education campaign, as well as expanding what is collected. It will also contain:

  • More collection points for stretchy plastic
  • A commitment to working with social landlords to increase recycling facilities at flats
  • Improvements to the quality of the recycling service
  • Investment in recycling facilities at Ty Coch

Cllr Mandy Owen, executive member for the environment, added: “We have already announced an expansion to our kerbside recycling service, with used batteries now collected in black recycling boxes. And from August, we’ll be moving to weekly cardboard collections and taking small electrical items.

“We’ve also invested in our recycling vehicles including new in-cab technology and we’re investing in staff training to improve the quality of the service.

“I am confident that by working together, we can all increase our recycling rates from 62 per cent to 70 per cent, which will be better for our environment and future generations.”

If you would like to share your views about the Raise the Rate campaign, you can visit the following planned public roadshows:

  • Thursday 27 April – Cwmbran Library, 10am – 3pm
  • Tuesday 2 May – Cwmbran town centre, 10am – 3pm
  • Thursday 4 May – Cwmbran Stadium, 5pm – 8pm.

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Council launches campaign to increase recycling as alternative to cutting bin collections