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Council set for switch to monthly bin collections to boost recycling rates

11 Jul 2024 3 minute read
Flintshire Council bin lorries

Liam Randall, local democracy reporter

A council is poised to introduce monthly black bin collections in a bid to improve its recycling rates.

Flintshire Council is currently facing the threat of fines of more than £1m after missing the Welsh Government target of recycling 64 per cent of the rubbish it collects for the last four financial years.

With the goal set to increase to 70 per cent in 2024/25, the local authority is now planning to only pick up general waste from residents once every four weeks.

Politicians have previously resisted switching from the present fortnightly arrangement due to concerns over how it will impact residents.

However, senior officials have warned change is necessary to avoid further financial penalties.

It comes as a report going to backbench councillors next week shows 13,410 tonnes (58 per cent) of rubbish put in black bins by residents in 2022/23 could have been recycled.

Fines

Katie Wilby, Flintshire’s chief officer for streetscene and transportation, said the proposed reduction in the frequency of collections was needed with government fine levels expected to increase.

In the report, she said: “We have continually reported that the council faces significant fines for not achieving the statutory recycling targets during 2021/22 and 2022/23.

“The fines for missing the targets over these two financial years equate to more than £1million.

“Following the 2023/24 end-of-year reporting, it is known that Flintshire has again not achieved the statutory recycling target resulting in the possibility of a further significant financial penalty.

“From April 2024, the target has now increased to 70 per cent and the council faces further fines per annum, based on current recycling levels, which could exceed £1million annually.”

Modelling exercise

The council carried out a modelling exercise earlier this year looking at three options for the future of waste services.

They included moving to either three or four weekly collections, as well as sticking to the fortnightly arrangement, but reducing the size of bins from 180 litres to 120.

Ms Wilby said monthly collections would boost recycling rates by an estimated amount of just under six per cent and deliver financial savings of up to £800,000 per year.

She said: “With four weekly residual collections reducing costs and diverting more material from the residual waste stream, this option therefore exhibits the lowest costs and best performance of all the three options.

“With respect to greenhouse gas emissions, it sees the largest emission reduction of 2,045 tonnes Co2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).

“This is predominantly due to the reduction of waste sent to energy from waste facilities.

“It is recommended that this option is progressed and the council transitions to a restricted capacity residual waste collection model.”

The proposals will be considered by members of the council’s environment and economy scrutiny committee when they meet on Tuesday (July 16, 2024).


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Frank
Frank
3 days ago

Councils all over the UK are doing less and less for more and even more money.

John Ellis
John Ellis
3 days ago

Next door in Denbighshire, we experienced a similar transition last month. Experience in our household has been that these days the quantity of non-recyclable rubbish is so small that a monthly collection is quite adequate. Indeed, the frequency could arguably be even less than that.

Steve Gadd
Steve Gadd
2 days ago
Reply to  John Ellis

And do you have a family? Hope you are factoring in the difference between say, a couple, Vs a family of 6 for example?

John Ellis
John Ellis
2 days ago
Reply to  Steve Gadd

For a family of six, collection of non-recyclable waste would probably need to be no less than monthly. But the hard fact is that way more of our rubbish can now be recycled than was the case, say, fifty years ago. And our recyclable waste collection continues to take place every week.

Gareth
Gareth
2 days ago
Reply to  Steve Gadd

Large family’s in our council area are allowed to have more black bag waste than average size families, check with the council if you qualify.

Gerry Scanlon
Gerry Scanlon
3 days ago

Cue a massive explosion in fly-tipping!

Mozart
Mozart
3 days ago

Surely moving to 4 weekly collections will require fewer bin men/women. What are the cost savings involved and when will that saving reflect in residents council tax bills?

Noel
Noel
2 days ago
Reply to  Mozart

Yes more fly tipping issues again and also rates should be reduced to the level of service

PeterC
PeterC
3 days ago

One of the issues is if you happen to be away (on holiday for example) on bin day then you could have rubbish sitting and stinking in your bin for 8 weeks. It is conceivable that with this cycle of collection that you could even miss two collections. Fine if you have neighbours who are willing and able to put your bin out for you and take if back in but many won’t have neighbours that are physically able to do this for them. It is bad enough in Powys where I live with every 3 weeks, that is just… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
3 days ago

How lazy or inconsiderate towards the planet and future generations are the people who cant take an extra few seconds to seperate some household waste as they are throwing it away. The different bags and bins are provided by the council, so how hard is it to throw plastic and tin into one, and glass into a seperate bin. Now we see people moaning the council aren’t doing it for them, and it’s not only bin collection your tax pays for, it’s also things like social care for the old and disabled, schools for your children, so think of that… Read more »

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
3 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Yes but if you live in a tiny terraced house with no garden lots of bins can be a problem

Gareth
Gareth
3 days ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

Have a word with the local councilor he would know your problems, and ask if the council could supply reusable bags instead of bins, like other councils do.

Gareth
Gareth
2 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Do you not have local councillors, is that why the down votes. If you tell the council you have no front or back garden to put recycling bins, I am sure they could help.

Gareth
Gareth
3 days ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

So what do you do with these bins the council provide that you have no room for, do you throw them away.

Cath
Cath
2 days ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

Or living in flats? This is a health issue. It only takes one neighbour who can’t sort out their rubbish to drag down everyone’s quality of life.

Damian
Damian
1 day ago
Reply to  Gareth

Wow, Your council collects glass? Lucky you!

Jeff
Jeff
3 days ago

Doesn’t seem like joined up thinking trying to force people to use the recycling options this way. Better engagement perhaps? Has there been any contact with residents or are residents just hell bent of stuffing black bags? What is the real underlying issue here?

The local lanes will start to look useful now.

A Evans
A Evans
2 days ago

My black bin is full of junk wrapping that comes with our shopping & is emptied every fortnight! If you can explain to me how I can cram twice as much industrial packaging into my bin, please explain!

Gareth
Gareth
2 days ago
Reply to  A Evans
Kath
Kath
2 days ago

I am very sorry to raise the problem of rats and mice.. but any rubbish staying around for a month is going to be a magnet for vermin…

Jason dylan Sargent
Jason dylan Sargent
2 days ago
Reply to  Kath

Yeah to right and then spend money on pest control

Kevin
Kevin
2 days ago

Then they surprised when people dumping rubbish everywhere. 3 weeks is insane already.

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