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Council's clampdown on contaminated recycling problem

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is calling on residents not to waste their waste in response to the increasing problem of contaminated recycling – and in particular, the issue of putting food waste in everyday recycling bags.

Thanks to the efforts of residents recycling rates in the County Borough are ever-increasing, and a new record for Rhondda Cynon Taf was set when 64% of overall waste was recycled in the 2016 calendar year. That figure was above the Welsh average (63%) and Welsh Government target (58%) – but the target will rise to 70% by 2024-25.

Many residents are responding to the Council’s recycling message, but the increasing problem of contaminated recycling results in the Council not being able to re-use many items, despite residents’ intention to recycle them.

Contaminated recycling is when recyclable items are soiled by contaminates – and an everyday example of this is putting food waste or nappies in the same bag as dry recycling. Contamination can also occur when food containers which haven’t been properly cleaned are put in a dry recycling bag

This could result in the entire contents of the bag not being recycled, which is why the Council takes the issue seriously and will be taking action against repeat offenders.

 “Recycling rates are currently at their highest-ever level in Rhondda Cynon Taf, comparing favourably with other areas in Wales. We are currently above the Welsh Government’s target, but the figure will rise to 70% in the coming years so it is important progress is maintained.

“Not cleaning out food containers before recycling, or putting food waste or nappies in with your dry recycling bag, can lead to a whole week’s worth of recycling being wasted. The message to residents is clear – don’t waste your waste.

“The Council provides weekly food waste collections and a nappy recycling scheme in an effort to make recycling as easy as possible for residents.

“By cleaning your recyclable food containers and putting food waste in your separate food waste bags you will help to make a huge difference to the number of items that we can recycle and re-use.”

For more information about contaminated recycling, and how to avoid it, visit http://www.rctcbc.gov.uk/EN/Resident/BinsandRecycling/ContaminatedRecyclingWaste.aspx.

For more information about recycling, including what should go in your bins and details about the County Borough’s seven Community Recycling Centres, visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/recycling.

Posted on Tuesday 31st October 2017