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VIEWPOINT: Share your views on recycling in Torfaen Council’s new survey

At 9.23pm I clicked Torfaen Council’s Raise the Rate recycling survey and by 9.30pm my views had been shared. Seven minutes of my time seems pretty fair to join the conversation about increasing recycling and helping to avoid a reduction in our purple-lidded bin collections.

On 25 April , the council stopped its consultation over potential changes to moving our purple-lidded bin (the one that should only contain stuff that can’t be recycled) from two-week collections to every three of four weeks. It’s fair to say there was a backlash over the proposals.

Council Leader Anthony Hunt announced the Raise the Rate campaign to increase recycling by working with residents, expanding kerbside recycling and more education and enforcement.

a black box of recycling
How can we make sure more stuff goes in here and not in our purple-lidded bins?

Get your views in

It takes a few minutes to help the council so click here and take part. The survey is anonymous. If we don’t work together to get the household recycling rate in Torfaen from 62% up to 70% by 2025 we will be back where we were last month- and facing changes to our bin collections. It’s telling that only two councils in Wales have not had to reduce non-recyclable collections simply because they are already over 70%. The 20 other councils have either made changes or (like Torfaen looked at) are thinking about changes.

One key question in the survey is, ‘Please list what you put into your purple-lidded bin in a typical week’. This was the topic of a previous Cwmbran Life post. It really is over to us now. We’ve got to be honest with ourselves and really look at what we are putting in our purple-lidded bins after we’ve filled our blue bag with cardboard, black boxes with tins, paper, glass, plastic etc, and popped any food waste in the caddy.

The survey will close on Friday 2 June.

A friend confesses…

This isn’t as exciting as the title suggests but does show a problem about being honest with ourselves. A friend was away on the weekend and a relative house-sat for him. Yesterday he was gobsmacked to open his purple-lidded bin to find she had treated herself to a McDonald’s delivery…and dumped every item of packaging in his empty bin. Think about every bit of wrapping in a McDonald’s meal. It can all be recycled using our current paper, plastic and cardboard service. If he asked his relative how much she recycles, I’m certain he would be told “I recycle everything I can”.

We’ve all got to pause before we open that purple-lidded bin and ask ourselves. “Is this the right bin for this bit of rubbish?”

Blog on Cwmbran Life- share your tips

If you love recycling and have some great tips or if you’re really worried about how you would manage with your purple-lidded bins being collected every three or four weeks, it would be great to hear your story. Do you want to write a post on Cwmbran Life? Send me an email

View from Torfaen Council

Council Leader Anthony Hunt said: “We’ve come a long way in Torfaen over the last 20 years, raising our recycling rates from below 15% to over 62%

“Although Wales is leading the way, we still need to Raise the Rate to 70%, to reduce waste and reach the target set by Welsh Government. If we are to do that, we need your help.

“So I am asking you to tell us about your experiences of recycling and how you think we can all increase what we recycle. Your views will help inform what we can do as a council to increase recycling and how we can help individuals and communities to do more.”

Cllr Mandy Owen, executive member for the environment, added: “The evidence suggests that if we all recycled everything that’s collected at the kerbside, we will significantly increase recycling rates.

“We need to understand why people put certain items into their purple-lidded bins when they can be recycled and how we can help them make the changes.

What can you recycle in Torfaen?

Find out what you can recycle in each box or bag on the council’s website.

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VIEWPOINT: Share your views on recycling in Torfaen Council’s new survey

a black box of plastic recycling