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Swansea bin bag shake-up starts today

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 07, 2014

Swansea bin bag shake-up starts today

Comments (32)

ONE of the biggest shake-ups to hit Swansea’s household bin bag collection service in decades comes into force today.

Householders are being told they can only put a maximum of three black bags out every fortnight as part of a drive by the council to dramatically reduce the amount of waste going to landfill sites and boost its recycling figures. They risk a potential fine if they repeatedly flout the new rules.

All councils in Wales need to recycle 58 per cent of their waste by 2016. Swansea however currently languishes near the bottom of the green league table, recycling just 52.5 per cent.

June Burtonshaw, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for place, said: “We need to make changes to the way we collect household waste so we can increase the amount of recycling produced. It is not sustainable to continue sending black bags to landfill in the longterm and we need residents to recycle instead of using black bags.

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“We provide an excellent kerbside collection service which gives households the opportunity of recycling a wide range of items.”

She added: “I’m confident residents in Swansea will do the right thing.”

A widespread publicity campaign has taken place in Swansea over recent months to alert residents to the looming bag limit. Council bosses say bin collection crews have already seen a reduction in the number of black bags being put out even ahead of the changes.

From today people who do exceed the three bag limit can expect to see their excess bags left on the pavement for them to pick up again. They will also have a sticker put on the bags reminding them of the new rules. These could be followed-up by a knock on the door from staff from the council’s recycling team offering help on how to go green and recycle more of their waste. Enforcement action for those who repeatedly flout the bag limit is said to be the last resort. But that could involve a fine.

The authority has stressed that residents have nothing to fear if they occasionally go over the limit or put out extra bags one week because they have been away on holiday and missed their usual collection day.

Chris Howell, Swansea Council’s head of waste management, said with 110,000 properties across the county, if everyone was able to reduce the number of bags they used by one, that would have a huge impact on the total amount of waste being dumped in landfill.

He added: “It is important that we all work together to improve out recycling rate and meet the Welsh Government targets. Starting from today, we will be stickering excess bags and making follow-up calls to households — this will be done in a managed way, starting with certain crews and routes.

“Every lorry full of waste we send to landfill costs us £1,000, and with 110,000 properties in the city and county it soon adds up.

“We all need to reduce the amount of waste we end to landfill.

“The emphasis of this bag policy is very much about helping people to recycle more.”

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  • 123annie  |  April 09 2014, 1:07PM

    this morning I was quite pleased with myself as I had only 2 black bags outside my house. Across the street was a house with 5 black bags outside it. The bin lorry came and took them all. I was looking forward to them being left behind with stickers on. don't think anyone is policing anything...

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  • Trackeditor  |  April 08 2014, 4:11PM

    Say you stick to the rule and put out 3 bags, someone from down your street decides to stick an extra 3 bags outside your house so you now have 6 bags... will you still get penalized even though it's not your fault? I can see this backfiring badly with people piling their bags on other peoples bags. Who would have thought that putting out rubbish would be another stress in peoples lives?

    |   1
  • abercanaid  |  April 07 2014, 7:14PM

    Why not build a big furnace on fairwood burn the bloddy stuff generate power to heat all the homes in Swansea?

    |   -4
  • Scroggins  |  April 07 2014, 7:13PM

    Every year we have a family reunion, this year it was at my brothers estate in France.

    |   -6
  • richie2803  |  April 07 2014, 6:36PM

    I hope the council make allowances for flats in converted houses, there are 4 houses on my street, each house has 6 flats, so that is 24 black bags per fortnight (on average) and the council will only collect 12?

    |   3
  • wyeiphoneman  |  April 07 2014, 5:05PM

    It should be illegal for the council to impose these rules, I pay my tax and expect a service, problem is they haven't been bothered to get up off their rear ends and do something sooner, they have had to act drastically now, why can't we have wheelie bins like they do in Neath / Port Talbot? - Useless Swansea council, making a mockery of this city.

    |   -4
  • Neathboy234  |  April 07 2014, 5:02PM

    Scroggins welcome back mate, we haven't seen you for ages on here. You been away somewhere nice

    |   -5
  • Francis_Dunn  |  April 07 2014, 4:24PM

    @muld00ns. The leaflet about the changes arrived with leaflets for pizza delivery etc. It pays to look at the junk mail for a few seconds before putting them in the bin. @Scroggins . It's not a fine, it's a levy. When the Council lorries arrive at landfill bases they are weighed in and weighed out. The difference in weights is recorded and the Council gets billed on a regular basis. You need to view the video again, Scroggins. Not all rubbish is collected 5 days a week. Residents have to know on what days items are collected and they have to be out on the street when the lorry arrives. Note that residents are charged for what is non-recyclable waste.

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  • Scroggins  |  April 07 2014, 3:58PM

    Taipei Great clip. One important difference is they collect five times a week, we don't get that amount in two months.

    |   -6
  • Dan01  |  April 07 2014, 3:19PM

    It is a shame that SCC are appearing so confrontational on this issue. At the end of the day they are going to need the full cooperation of residents if they are to hit their recycling targets.

    |   1