Bridgend County Borough Council is carrying out public consultation over proposed changes to its refuse collections, which includes the possibility of switching to four-weekly collections of residual waste.
The three proposals that the council is consulting on also include two-weekly collections restricted to two black bags and three-weekly collections restricted to three black bags.
The four-weekly collection option has no black bag restrictions, and recycling collection will remain weekly.
The council says the changes are necessary because the current kerbside collection system needs to be upgraded so it can recycle more waste and avoid financial penalties for not meeting the Welsh Government’s new statutory recycling targets.
“Missing the 64 percent target by just one percent will mean that Bridgend County Borough will be issued with a penalty of around £100,000 which will have to be paid for by local taxpayers”
Councillor Hywel Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “As a county borough, we have always performed really well when it comes to recycling, and in 2012-13 we recycled 57 percent of all waste when the target was 52 percent.
“But the statutory targets are getting higher and more demanding, and in its current form the kerbside collection scheme will not be enough to meet them unless we make some changes.
“At the moment our target is 58 percent, but this will increase to 64 percent in 2019-20, then 70 percent by 2024-25. Many local authorities in Wales have already made changes to their recycling and refuse collections in preparation for this as areas that do not meet the new targets will be subject to severe financial penalties.
“For example, missing the 64 percent target by just one percent will mean that Bridgend County Borough will be issued with a penalty of around £100,000 which will have to be paid for by local taxpayers.
“The more we miss the target by, the more we will have to pay, so the only way in which we are going to be able to avoid huge fines is by changing the way in which we collect refuse, increasing how much we recycle and cutting back on the amount of waste that is sent to landfill.
“That’s why we want to consult with local people over making changes to the kerbside collection scheme that will ensure we can achieve this.
“It makes sense to consult on these changes now as our current waste collection contract is due to expire on 31 March 2017, and we need to ensure that we have a service in place from this date which is able to meet the new recycling targets. It will also give residents more time to plan for any changes which are introduced following the public consultation.”
To date, a number of councils throughout Wales have introduced measures that range from limiting how many black bags can be put out for collection to changing how often the bags are collected.
Any scheme selected for Bridgend County Borough will need to begin in April 2017. It will mainly focus on changes to refuse collections as recycling will remain on a weekly basis. As part of the consultation process, the council will be looking at what new waste equipment householders will need in order for the scheme to work smoothly, maximise its success and minimise inconvenience.