Cardiff council plans fortnightly black bin collection

Food waste caddy Trials of the kerbside food waste caddy have been "resoundingly positive", said the council.

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A council is considering collecting black bins every fortnight as part of a new strategy to increase the amount of waste its recycles.

Cardiff's five-year plan would also see weekly food waste and green bag collections, and fortnightly garden waste pick-ups.

The council said it had to meet strict targets on waste sent to landfill.

"We believe this is the right way forward," said Cllr Margaret Jones, cabinet member for the environment.

The city's municipal waste management strategy for 2011 to 2016, which follows a household survey, will go to Cardiff's executive on Thursday for a decision.

The Welsh Assembly Government has decreed that by 2025, 70% of household waste must be recycled or composted and no more than 5% of waste should be sent to landfill.

Failure to comply could result in substantial fines.

The council said it had already made great strides in changing how waste is managed in the city.

It had introduced a new wheeled bin scheme, redeveloped household waste recycling centres across the city, invested in a materials reclamation facility and begun a food waste collection service.

Currently households in Cardiff have a weekly black bag and fortnightly green bag collection. Food waste is collected with garden waste but a trial is taking place in some areas where food waste is being collected in brown kerbside caddies instead.

Start Quote

These changes are ultimately going to contribute towards a significant decrease in the amount of waste being sent to landfill by Cardiff”

End Quote Cllr Margaret Jones Cardiff council

The council's recent consultation on waste management and collection services showed that 92% of local people were satisfied with their waste collections services.

Some 69% wanted recycling to be collected weekly and the proportion of households now putting out black bins/bags fortnightly had already risen to 36%.

Trials of the kerbside caddy that contains food waste for collection, instead of bags, had been "resoundingly positive", said the council.

It added that research showed that fortnightly collections boost recycling rates significantly when coupled with weekly collections of food waste.

'Much higher'

Among the proposed changes is a hygiene nappy service, allowing special collections of nappies or incontinence pads from registered households, on the weeks that they would not be due to have a black bag collection.

Proposals to make the city's collection route more efficient would also mean a day of collection change for some areas.

Ms Jones said: "These changes are ultimately going to contribute towards a significant decrease in the amount of waste being sent to landfill by Cardiff.

"By diverting more we will create a more positive carbon benefit and help the environment.

"By helping people reduce the amount of waste they produce, encouraging them to recycle more of their waste and collecting food waste and green bags every week, we strongly believe that every household in Cardiff can help push our recycling figures up much higher."

Ms Jones added that the council had received "lots" of feedback from residents calling for a weekly green bag recycling collection and to have kerbside containers for food instead of bags.

The proposals will be brought back to the executive for further discussion later in the year, with any changes being introduced in September 2011.

We asked you for your comments. Here are a selection.

This may work where areas are supplied with wheely bins but in terrace streets that have limited space to store waste it won't. Nobody wants to have wasted hanging around. Also, Cardiff Council don't do enough to inform local residents of collection time changes resulting in build ups on the streets.

Mr Jones, Cardiff

I agree with what the Council are trying to achieve with regard to their recycling policy. However, I do question the logic of giving us the huge green wheelie bins for the food waste - rather than the smaller and more practical brown bins in other areas. Such a large bin for a few small bags of food waste is hardly necessary, and often is not worth the hassle of dragging out to the pavement every week. Surely it would make more sense to use the large green wheelie bins for the green recyclable rubbish - much easier than the current bag system - and give us all a smaller food waste bin that can easily be put out every week for collection.

Deborah, Cardiff

We have had fortnightly black bag collections and weekly food waste collections for the past year or so. I believe the vale council also have arrangements for weekly disposable nappies and incontinence pads collections where required, and provided Cardiff Council provide this service too, as long as all food waste is put into the recycling bin I don't think Cardiff residents will encounter many problems as all the products that attract vermin are still collected weekly

Gordon Windridge, Penarth

What about the large number of modern apartments in Cardiff? We don't have facilities to store rotting rubbish for two weeks. In addition, many apartments are rented out - either by the day or on 6 month leases. Whilst many tenants are responsible, a proportion already cause problems with rubbish - they don't care about recycling so we all bear the cost of cleaning up. We need to spend more time on encouraging supermarkets and manufacturers to reduce packaging.

Chris Penn, Cardiff

As I see it there are two issues here. Firstly, Cardiff council want to collect food waste weekly and garden waste fortnightly. Currently our food and garden waste is collected weekly using the same green bin. This means the introduction of yet another bin. What is the advantage of this as i assume the food and garden waste will continue to go to the same destination? In smaller terraced houses the additional space that this will take up is also a nuisance. Secondly, even with the most scrupulous collection of food waste black bins will still contain food waste, for example in used containers for ready meals and fast food. This will decay and especially in the summer will smell and possibly present a health hazard. In the area of Cardiff that I live, where a substantial number of the residents in rented accommodation are less scrupulous about recycling and seem unable to remember what day of the week the bins are collected anyway, this is likely to lead to significant quantities of rotting food waste remaining uncollected for two weeks at a time, which will be nice for the rats if for no-one else. I do not think that this is acceptable and the council should revise their plans.

Mike Vaughan, Cardiff

I tend to only put out my wheelie bin once a month anyway so these changes wont affect me as such. However, what does make me laugh is that while the council is trying to be more environmentally friendly, last week we had 3 refuse trucks in our street at once. One to collect the black bins, one to collect the green bags, and one to clllect the green bins! Seems a bit daft that in our effort to help the environment, we are actually putting more trucks on the road to collect all the different types of bins, each one using fuel and pumping out fumes!

Gary Holcombe, Cardiff

Targets, targets...that's all we ever seem to hear on this topic. Targets set by someone in an office making decisions and leaving the rest of the community to manage the situation created. (Doesn't this idea fly in the face of recent warblings from the Government about cancelling fortnightly collections? Or is Wales going it alone again?) Office sitters forget those in apartments,terraced housing and others who have little room to store rubbish. They also forget that during winter,it often snows (surprise, surprise!) when collections will be even further apart. I actually recycle the plastic supermarket bags in a variety of useful ways but have little use for the unsolicted junk mail I receive and the extrordinary amount of packaging around food and frankly object to having to store it for re-cycling!

A Jones, Chepstow

Personally, I put more rubbish out in my green bags than I do in my black bags. If the council increased the green bag collections to weekly, the reduction of black bag collections would actually help me because I wouldn't have the green bags stacking up each fortnight.

Amanda, Cardiff

Its wrong to use the "fortnightly" word in this story. Collections are still weekly. Its just a move to collect what should be the majority of the household waste once a week, surly an improvement and not a cause for concern. Food waste and recycling collected on a weekly basis means no rotting waste to be kept for two weeks. Just put all the recycling out every week and keep the smaller amount of dry rubbish to be put out every other week. If you have enough garden waste to be a problem then there is probably a garden to keep the waste in for a week or so.

Steve Walsh, Aberystwyth

In Shrewsbury we have had fortnightly collections of waste for some time. One week they pick up household waste in a black wheelie and the next week they pick up recycleable waste in a green wheelie and at the same time we have green and blue boxes for glass, paper etc. Previously everything was just thrown into the black bin so you have to say that at least 50% of our household waste is now recycled. I aslo use a shredder for garden stuff but I have done this for years as part of my general gardening regime. Whether this is a revenue saver or not I have no idea. When I think of theamount of water we use to clean glass jars and tins before putting them in a box and the cost of manpower and vehicles to pick them up I really don't see where the savings is made.

Gordon, Shrewsbury

Here in Burntwood we've had fortnightly collections of non-recycled waste, recycled waste and garden waste for some time. It works really well if you separate your waste properly. The whingers who don't like it are just too lazy to separate it so they end up with over-full black bins and nearly empty blue and brown bins. Serves 'em right.

Roy Smith, Burntwood

I currently have a small black wheelie bin, 2 large green garden waste wheelie bins and a brown food caddie, all of which are collected weekly. I would have no problem with a fortnightly collection of the black bin but I regularly fill both green bins weekly. A fortnightly collection of these would necessitate regular trips to the local tip - not very green at all!. Similarly a fortnightly collection of the recycling green bags is no problem. Please keep the weekly food caddie and garden waste collections.

Peter Elkington, Cardiff

We live in a terrace house and don't have room for wheelie bins which would look unsightly at the front of the house. However we would welcome a change to weekly green and white bag collection and fortnightly black bag collection as we usually have 3 green recycle bags and 2 white bags to 1 black bag. Caddies for food recycling would also be welcome as they help prevent animals tearing white bags open and scattering the contents around.

Phil Hawkins, Cardiff

The idea of having green bags picked up weekly is good, as in my area of Adamsdown some people seem to put these out weekly anyway. On the black bags this could be worse as some people in flats put out black bags whenever they want to, and do not adhere to the rules anyway.

Stephen Gandy, Cardiff

Bearing in mind the Council haven't picked up the green bags for some 6 weeks from our street, and leave a number of black bin bags during collections, have also switched the weeks when they collect recycling but have not informed residents, plus issued those who put their green bin bags out this week (as per their timetable) with warnings of £100 fines, I have NO faith in the Council's ability to deal with waste efficiently.

Claire, Cardiff

Big Mistake! 1. The Council are PAID by us to collect weekly 2. The Vale Council went to fortnightly collections and now have rubbish all over the streets, seagulls scrapping everywhere, and rats roaming about in broad daylight! 3. The bin caddy supplied for food waste gets kicked around like a football by passing yobo's 4. the caddies also get blown around by the wind, damaging cars and sometimes injuring people. 5. Half of it ends up in landfill anyway, either here or in a poor third world country!

Peter, Cardiff

We already do what's discussed in the article! If green bag recycling could be extended to a weekly basis, it would certainly clear the backlog of full recycling bags we build up over a fortnightly period!! We live in a curbside caddy area, and I can vouch for the success of the scheme. The mess, owing to birds and pets ripping bags open, has subsided significantly. I do feel that Cardiff Council need to strengthen the Recycling message though. Laziness and apathy still exists at certain properties (you can usually tell which ones as they tend to pile huge numbers of black bags out each week) - the council need to take a tough stance - get a few huge binmen banging on doors explaining the Recycling message... said properties are likely to take more notice of them than some chap in a suit!

Owen Williams, Grangetown

Green Bag contents are 'clean' rubbish and need only be collected fortnightly as there should be no hygiene issues. However, black bags will contain items that are likely to have residual food/waste products on them, even if the food product itself is collected separately. This being the case, black bags should continue to be collected weekly. I have not seen the containers proposed to collect foood waste, but would need to be assured that they can be used without compromising the hygiene standards that should be the norm for all UK city residents. I have concerns about how these food waste bins would be accessed and used in areas of the city with a high density of student population. What data can you give the public to show that the resources and efforts the Council intends to devote to meeting recycling targets will not actually worsen other areas of environmental concerns - (i.e. the extra energy in fuel and other resourses needed to implement this more complex and demanding collection service negates any positve environment effect)?

H Ross, Cardiff

They don't collect the bins on time now so moving to a fortnightly collection wouldn't make a difference - it would be as though nothing has changed

Christine, Cardiff

In the town where i am living they introduced the fortnightly black bag collection in November 2010, there has been a lot of problems caused by it such as rubbish on the streets and the horrible smell people have to deal with, there has been a lot of complaints in the local aper about this. The Scheme does not work at all

Sioned, Aberystwyth,

I will be much happier to have recycling collected weekly, and other waste fortnightly, as this is a much better reflection of the amount of waste my household produces.

, Kathryn Burgess, Cardiff

I currently live in East Renfrewshire in Scotland, a local authority where we have recently changed to a similar refuse system. We get our brown bins, which are for compostable materials, such as food and garden waste collected weekly, with our black bins, for general waste collected fortnightly, in addition we are also expected to separate our glass and cans, washed of course, into our blue boxes, our paper and card into our white bags and our plastics into our green bags, for collection on alternate weeks to our black bins. This idea is great in theory, however it has major flaws in practice, firstly where I store all this additional recycling, secondly if I don't recycle said items, I'll fill my black bin up too quickly and a result they won't empty it, leaving even more rubbish for me to deal with, and thirdly after the recent poor weather at Christmas we were left with no black bin/recycling collection for nearly four weeks having been given the advice, just leave it out and we'll get to it when we can, resulting in some estates starting to look like slums with the amount of rubbish being left lying at the kerbside awaiting collection!

, Paul Andrews

Absolutely brilliant idea. To set context to some of the other comments here, in my area there are no wheelie bins, and no curb-side caddies for food waste. Currently black bags are collected weekly, and food/garden waste and green bag recycling collected on alternate weeks. We already try to be environmentally conscious in our household waste, and in fact put out a large number of green bags with only one very small black bag each week (usually with nothing other than cat litter in it). Comments below alude to the inconvenience of having rotting rubbish at the property for two weeks, but in fact that is what we have to deal with now - I have a small mountain of green recycling bags blocking my small back garden and have to save up the rotting food waste for two weeks at a time, whereas the council are collecting our minimal black bag rubbish weekly. My solution to the critics below is simply this - perhaps you are not paying enough care and attention to what you dispose of in each type of bag.

, Ian, Cardiff

The fortnight bin bags collection will not work especially if you live in an urban area where there are foxes and birds attacking the binsi think the weekly bin collection is ideal especially with the bad weather that we have just had.The rubbish was not collected from people in certain areas for nearly a month because of this.

, Mrs Smithy, Swansea

We get rubbish, food waste and 'green bag' collections every week which does the job perfectly. Since having both food and 'green bag' waste collections, I have noticed a significant reduction in the amount of bog-standard rubbish I produce.

, Chloe Taverner, Rhondda Cynon Taf

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