Conwy Begins Four-Weekly Residual Waste Collections

Conwy County Borough Council has begun its rollout of a four-weekly residual waste collection following a year-long trial.

The council is now the first in the UK to offer a four-weekly collection of residents’ residual waste after year-long trial showed an increase in recycling, according to the council.

The new service began on the 24th September and includes:

  • a weekly collection for food waste
  • a weekly collection for paper, card, Tetra Paks, cans, aerosols, foil, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, tubs and trays and batteries
  • a fortnightly collection for green waste, textiles and small electrical waste
  • a refuse collection every four weeks
  • a weekly nappy or incontinence products collection for those who need it.

Conwy says that half of the waste that went into residual waste before the trials could have been recycled easily. These landfilled materials lost the community £1.6m in a year, it says, which could be used to protect vital services.

Conwy currently recycles 64% of its waste, but needs to recycle 70% by 2024/25 to meet the Welsh Government’s targets. If these targets are not achieved the Council may be fined.

The year long trial of four weekly collections to 10,000 households led to 14% increase in recycling and 31% decrease in the amount of refuse in the wheelie bins.

The 4 weekly trial found that an increase in fly tipping did not happen, according to the council, despite fears by some residents.

In a report published by Keep Wales Tidy earlier this year, Conwy’s ‘Cleanliness Indicator’ is markedly higher than the Wales average and is the highest figure recorded for Conwy since 2008/2009.

Earlier this year, CIWM set out a service “checklist”of what councils might consider when rolling out a three- or four-weekly residual waste collection in order to address potential hygiene concerns.

It follows criticism from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, which said: “Whilst we appreciate that four weekly residual waste collections have the potential to increase recycling rates and reduce costs, we have concerns about the potential unintended consequences and the risks these pose to the environment and health.”

According to CIWM, four-weekly collections of residual waste can both support higher recycling rates and provide a good standard of service to residents if the scheme includes provisions such as food waste and nappy collections.

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