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Torfaen residents to vote on changes to bin collections

a purple lidded bin

Welsh Government recycling targets mean that residents in Torfaen will be asked to vote on changes to the frequency of their bin collections.

By 2025, at least 70% of rubbish must be recycled in Wales. The latest figure for Torfaen is 64% so councillors are proposing increasing some types of collections and decreasing others. It will mean black bins with a purple lid are emptied every three or four weeks.

Earlier this month, members of the council’s Cleaner Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered a report which recommended reducing the frequency of purple-lidded bin collections.

According to the report, reducing this waste collection to once every three weeks would increase recycling rates to 66%, with four weekly collections resulting in recycling rates of 68%.

Members were presented with a number of other options for improving recycling rates however these options were either not effective in terms of improving the recycling rate or too expensive.

Residents asked to vote on changes to their purple lidded bin

Residents will now be asked to vote for their preferred choice – three weekly or four weekly purple bin collections – during a six-week consultation period, starting on Monday 27 March.

Votes can be placed online or at any of several public roadshows taking place throughout Torfaen. The council is also talking to various Torfaen citizen panels and the five community councils.

The changes planned for March 2024 will be brought in alongside an expansion of the recycling service including:

  • Used batteries recycling from April.
  • Weekly cardboard and small electrical items collections from this summer.
  • Increased recycling support for residents who live in flats.
  • Increased trade waste recycling.
  • Increased education and information.

Councillor Mandy Owen, executive member for the environment, said: “We understand some residents will have concerns about how they will cope with fewer skinny bin collections, and we will be supporting those residents who need help.

“We also know we need to make improvements to the recycling service as a whole, so we are able to provide a service residents can rely on.

“But the fact of the matter is, no change is not an option. If we fail to meet the Welsh Government’s 70% by 2025 target, we could face fines of up to £100,000 per percentage missed.

“Increasing recycling is a key part of the council’s Climate and Nature Emergency Action Plan and our County Plan, because it is better for the climate, the environment and future generations.”

Currently, less than 64 per cent of waste is recycled in Torfaen, so the council is proposing several changes to increase recycling and decrease the amount of rubbish thrown away in purple-lidded bins.

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Torfaen residents to vote on changes to bin collections