Blaenau Gwent Considers Four-Weekly “Black Bag” Collections

“Black bag” waste could be collected once every four weeks throughout Blaenau Gwent under a number of options the council is considering in an attempt to further increase recycling in the area.

The council is weighing up options to move its fortnightly collection of  “black bag” waste to either a three-weekly collection or even a four-weekly collection under a number proposals to help it achieve the recycling target of 58 percent by 2015/16.

Both moves would also mean the introduction of weekly recycling and food waste collections.

The options regarding the changes to waste services were discussed by councillors at a committee meeting.

Blaenau Gwent Council spokesperson – “The authority will provide support in how residents can increase their recycling on a weekly basis, which will result in less household refuse in the 240 litre bins”

The preferred option is to move to a three-weekly collection of waste, which could increase recycling rates by up to 10 percent, according to the council.

Total costs for changing the service could reach £4.3m, of which the Welsh Government has awarded a £2m grant, subject to agreeing a business plan.

On potentially moving to a three-weekly collection, a spokesperson from Blaenau Gwent Council said: “Residents will be encouraged to think about their recycling and look beyond just their kitchen to recycle materials.

“There are improvements to be made in how we recycle in general.

“The authority will provide support in how residents can increase their recycling on a weekly basis, which will result in less household refuse in the 240 litre bins.”

The new service could generate a potential income of £150,000 and £250,000 annually from the sale of recyclable materials and efficiencies in the service by 2016.

A report will be presented to the next council executive meeting to consider the options and the changes could start to be brought in from spring or autumn 2015.

Three-Weekly Trend?

Bury Council recently moved from a fortnightly to a three-weekly collection of black bag waste.

The council approved decision in July, which will aim to boost recycling and save more than £800,000 per year.

The new collection system will be introduced from the second week in October.

Under the new collection regime, non-recyclable waste will be collected every three weeks rather than the current two. Recycling bins will be collected more frequently (every three weeks rather than four), and food and garden waste remain at a fortnightly collection.

In April this year Gwynedd County Council became the first in Wales to approve a three-weekly collection for its “black bag” waste.

The unanimously approved the decision is hoped to reduce waste sent to landfill and increase recycling. The council also claimed that the move will lead to savings of £350,000.

Thirty one percent of respondents answered: ‘While it may reduce waste to landfill, I can’t see it being a widely adopted scheme (31%)’

In a recent CIWM Journal Online poll, we asked visitors if the move to three-weekly collections is likely to be mimicked throughout the nation.

Thirty one percent of respondents answered: “While it may reduce waste to landfill, I can’t see it being a widely adopted scheme (31%)”.

Twenty four percent were of the opinion that it would be widely adopted, responding: “Yes, it’s obvious this will reduce waste to landfill and increase recycling. It is the future of collections (24%)”.

Another twenty four percent were of the opinion: “It’s too early to know whether a scheme like this will work or whether other authorities will adopt it (24%)”

And twenty one percent believed such a move was only likely to cause backlash with residents, responding: “No, this will only cause backlash with residents and will do nothing for waste and recycling (21%)”.

A recent study by Zero Waste Scotland concluded that less frequent collections of “black bag” waste posed no “greater health risk” to the public.


 

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