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New recycling rules for Rhondda Cynon Taf agreed

Cabinet have agreed to new rules aimed at further boosting recycling in Rhondda Cynon Taf, as a necessary step to ensure the Council hits the Welsh Government’s 70% target by 2024/25.

The new rules, starting on June 4, 2018 – aimed at people who don’t currently recycle – will be promoted by a marketing campaign by the Council, which is asking residents to Support a Green Future and recognise that The Choice is Clear – everyone needs to recycle.This will ensure residents know exactly what is expected of them, and will pay particular focus on ensuring residents know which items can and cannot be recycled.

Recycling in Rhondda Cynon Taf is currently at an all-time high, with 64% of overall waste recycled in 2016/17 – a level first achieved in the 2016 calendar year. But, further improvements must be made if the Council is going to hit the Welsh Government’s future 70% target, and avoid a significant fine which would need to be generated through cuts to services or Council Tax rises.

In order to make this important progress, new proposals were considered and supported by the Council’s Public Service Delivery, Communities and Prosperity Scrutiny Committee in January 2018, and Cabinet agreed to their introduction at their meeting on Thursday, February 15. They will introduce:

  • A ‘no side waste’ rule for households with fortnightly bin collections. Black bag waste would need to be contained within wheelie bins, with the general rule that the bin’s lid must shut.
  • A ‘two black bag limit’ for fortnightly household collections without a bin. This would reduce from four bags currently.
  • A Fixed Penalty Notice for residents who continually fail to recycle. This would be a last resort for the Council, following awareness-raising exercises and notices issued by enforcement officers.

 “Cabinet Members have now agreed to the proposed changes to the Council’s waste collections, which will be important in helping us hit the Welsh Government’s 2024/25 target of 70%. The changes will also ensure the Council’s valued fortnightly waste collections are continued, as opposed to moving to a three-weekly or monthly service.

“We have made fantastic progress recently to maintain our record-high recycling rate of 64%. However, making that next significant step to 70%, and maintaining that level, requires a new focus. The Council has a clear choice to make from the two options in front of us – recycle more and help the environment, or face substantial fines.

“The new rules provide a clear choice – everyone needs to recycle to support a greener future for Rhondda Cynon Taf. We estimate that 75% of residents already recycle and that is why the new rules and awareness raising activity will target those who do not.

“Council officers will visit households not recycling to speak to residents, raise awareness and offer advice and, if required, issue warnings before a fine is considered as a last resort. We would much rather see more people recycling than issue fines.”

There will be various exceptions to the new rules, including that they will be rescinded over the busy Christmas and New Year period. Large families and households disposing of ash which cannot be recycled may also be exempt. The number of recycling bags per household will remain unlimited.

At the meeting, Cabinet also agreed to a reduction of the green waste collection service from weekly to fortnightly between November 1 and March 1 each year, reflecting the decreased demand during this period. Outside of these dates, in the summer season, the service will retain its weekly arrangement.

Posted on Friday 16th February 2018