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Council expects resistance as new recycling boxes rolled out

07 Mar 2024 5 minute read
Denbighshire leader Cllr Jason McLellan with one of the council’s new recycling ‘Trolibocs’

Richard Evans Local Democracy Reporter

A council expects some residents to resist its £22m new-look recycling ’Trolibocs’ rollout as four-weekly bin collections are introduced, but senior figures promise the scheme will save £500,000 a year.

The new recycling service will start on 3 June by which time residents will be given a new three-tiered “Trolibocs on wheels” to replace their blue bin.

Currently most residents in Denbighshire put their unrecyclable waste into a black bin and all their mixed recyclable waste into a blue bin.


But from June, the Trolibocs system will be used to collect paper, plastic, metal, food cartons, and glass, which residents must separate themselves to help cut costs, and a weighted hessian bag will be used for cardboard.

55% of the cost of the new £22m scheme has been funded by Welsh Government, the new system saving the council around half a million pound a year, cutting annual costs from around £7.6m to £7.1m – and creating 27 new council jobs.

New electric recycling vehicles are included in the cost of the new service.

But for residents, recycling capacity will increase from 240 litres every fortnight (120 litres per week) to approximately 250 litres collected weekly.

On the flipside, non-recyclable waste, or wheelie bin waste, will be collected every four weeks.

But wheelie bins will increase in size from 140 litres to 240 litres, resulting in a reduction of 40 litres of general rubbish collected per month.

Denbighshire’s leader Cllr Jason McLellan said the new system would be better for all but expected resistance from some residents.

“Lots of people don’t like change, but I think it is a good system because I think it will improve our recycling rates,” he said.

“It will save us money. I don’t think it is complex. The boxes are simple, paper, plastic, tin, and glass, and a separate bag for cardboard, collected weekly. That’s got to be an improvement, and it addresses the issues we are all concerned about with climate change and the climate emergency.”

He added, “People will get used to it.”

Climate emergency

Cllr Barry Mellor is the cabinet member for the environment and said the council was committed to helping to tackle climate change by helping reduce incinerated rubbish and waste dumped in landfill.

“If we go back to 2021, Denbighshire County Council declared a climate emergency,” he said.

“This is just one piece of the jigsaw, doing the best for climate change in Denbighshire. There is bound to be a bit of resistance. People don’t like change. But I think it is a much easier system to use once people get used to recycling.”

Cllr Mellor also explained he believed the new containers were easier to use for the elderly as they reduced the need to lift heavy rubbish, adding, “Not only will it be easier for them, it will be better for the country.”

Residents will also have access to a weekly collection for small electrical items and batteries. There will also be a new free weekly absorbent hygiene products collection for nappies, wipes, incontinence pads, and disposable bed pans and liners, but residents must register for this service.

Both the weekly food waste collection and the chargeable garden waste collection service every two weeks will stay the same.


Tony Ward is the corporate director for the economy and environment.

“The reason we are doing this project is because of the environment, to increase recycling,” he said.

“It is also much better for Denbighshire residents because this system will be cheaper for the council, so it will be cheaper for the taxpayers, and also we have created twenty-seven jobs, so that is good for local people and the local economy.”

He added: “It is not particularly more work (for residents to sort recycling).”

Residents who don’t have a blue bin for recycling will remain on a weekly sack service but will receive new re-usable sacks for the separate recyclable materials, instead of the Trolibocs system.

Residents on a sack service will receive a new reusable sack for non-recyclable waste, and that will also be collected weekly.

Denbighshire says the new service will help the council meet the statutory “70% recycling” target set for all local authorities in Wales by 2024/25.

New centre

The decision to change the collection service was made following a public consultation. The council claims the main message it received from residents was that they wanted more recycling.

Denbighshire will deal with all its recycling at its new Denbigh recycling centre, negating the need to outsource its recycling for sorting and incurring extra charges; instead, the council will sell recycled waste for a profit.

Denbighshire has over 45,000 sets of new containers to deliver to residents throughout the county.

The delivery schedule began last week with the aim of the containers being delivered by mid-May.

Denbighshire can fine residents who don’t recycle in the manner it advises.

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