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Council records lowest recycling performance in Wales

30 May 2024 3 minute read
Caerphilly picture by Varitek (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Nicholas Thomas Local Democracy Reporter

A council has been revealed as having the lowest recycling rates in Wales, according to new figures.

Caerphilly county borough’s performance slipped to recycling 60.1% of all waste in 2023, down from 60.7% the year before.

Caerphilly Council is considering four-weekly bin collections as one way to encourage people to recycle more.

Welsh Government figures show the council’s rates have generally fallen steadily over the past seven years and now languish well below national targets.

Any councils which fail to meet minimum performance rates are liable to hefty fines, as the government seeks to maintain Wales as one of the world’s best-performing recycling nations.

Worries

Until April, the recycling rate required to avoid those penalties is 64%, and the worrying issue in Caerphilly is that its performance is heading in the wrong direction.

The council was comfortably beating that 64% figure until 2019, when rates started to dip below the target – and have yet to recover.

This year, the government hiked its target rate to 70%, piling pressure on councils to recycle even more of the waste they collect.

But even if the old target had stayed in place, Caerphilly Council’s latest sub-par recycling rates would leave it open to fines, mooted last year by senior councillors to be as much as £2 million annually.

The council last year announced a new draft waste strategy designed to drive up its recycling rates, and a three-month public consultation on those plans closed this April.

Possible actions include new containers for residents to separate recyclable materials and four-weekly collections of non-recyclable waste.

That is in addition to a series of “quick wins” the council announced midway through 2023, including a trial of free food caddy liners to encourage people to stop throwing their leftovers and vegetable peelings in the bin.

Until then, Caerphilly was an outlier in not providing that service for residents.

Tighter rules

The council has also announced tighter rules on what people can throw away at its tips, or so-called household recycling centres.

Around half of what was being dumped at the county borough’s tips could have been recycled, the local authority said at the time.

Since February, residents have been required to pre-sort their waste before arriving at a tip, where bags of waste are also being “monitored” by staff to make sure “no recyclable materials are inside”.

A controversial plan to bring in a booking system at Caerphilly’s tips was axed from the waste strategy consultation, however, after some councillors said it could lead to more fly-tipping.


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Betel23
Betel23
3 days ago

They are happy to be where they are because the more they achieve the higher the Council Tax becomes..
The Vale of Glamorgan Council Tax is one of the highest in Wales and now is increased every year as a Norm!..Success has a price ask the people of the Vale. Biggest con of all time..

Last edited 3 days ago by Betel23
William Robson
William Robson
2 days ago
Reply to  Betel23

Many years ago Port Talbot taxes were higher than Bournemouth. Nothing changes. Put self important clerks in charge and they begin to loose touch with reality.

Rob Thomas
Rob Thomas
2 days ago
Reply to  Betel23

That’s a ridiculous statement. Take a look around our roads at the amount of litter thrown out of cars and outside shops and takeaways. It cost thousands to clean up. No doubt the same people can’t be bothered to recycle at home. Caerphilly has made changes in line with a recent public consultation and have improved the recycle collection at their waste disposal amenities. Recycling is a responsibility for everyone, not just the Council.

Welshman28
Welshman28
2 days ago

I question who checks the real recycling going on because isn’t it the councils who submit their figures with out external check being made by someone outside of the councils. Many people in the Vale are questioning the recycling being done and what’s collected

William Robson
William Robson
2 days ago

This administration has had problems but that is no excuse for them to be allowed to be incompetent. Start pruning now sack the CEO and put someone in place thstbhas the ability to run a multi million pound business. Being run like a play school is no longer acceptable. These people would relish dishing out fines time the boot was on the other foot. Jobs for life are luxury of the past

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
2 days ago

Shame the governments and councils aren’t doing more to get the amount of packaging reduced on food etc in the shops.

Harris
Harris
2 days ago

People aren’t recycling enough…. let’s collect it less!

Only a council could make that daft decision.

Like having to pay to have the green bags collected now, and not taking all the plastics in the plastic containers, or sifting through the cardboard to throw out the paper…

Also, the recycle centers are closing down, and making it harder to recycle

Why do you think people just bung everything in a black bag now?

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