Waste and recycling changes to be considered
Flintshire’s Cabinet will be asked to review proposals on changes to waste and recycling collections when it meets later this month.
A review is necessary as we need to focus on achieving the statutory recycling targets and getting back to the levels we were reaching pre-Covid. Missing targets can incur infraction fines from Welsh Government which are substantial.
Flintshire’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and the regional transport strategy, Councillor Dave Hughes, said:
“We have to consider the best way forward for us to increase our recycling and reduce waste as well as avoiding substantial fines from Welsh Government. At the moment, a change to the frequency of general waste bin collections is just a proposal – no decision has been made. The proposals in the report were considered by Councillors at this week’s Scrutiny committee with one proposal put forward by councillors to pilot reduced frequency collections in an area. The proposals will be considered again next week when Cabinet meet.
“A review of our waste strategy is necessary because, from being at a peak in performance in 2018-19 at 69.16%, our recycling performance levels in Flintshire have progressively decreased, year on year, and we are now failing to achieve the targets.
“As with all local authorities, Flintshire is bound by Welsh Government recycling targets and could incur huge fines as a result of not meeting them. In 2021-22, the recycling target has been missed by 3,314 tonnes, which could equate to a potential infraction fine of £662,888 if Welsh Government choose to levy a financial penalty. This is clearly not sustainable or affordable.
“Consequently, we need to do more and do our bit for the planet, which includes looking at our waste habits – reducing what we throw away, reusing items where possible and recycling as much as we can at the kerbside and elsewhere.”
Side waste enforcement will need to continue to ensure that only residual waste is presented for collection in the residual waste (black) bin and that residents are fully participating in recycling.
In addition to this, Cabinet is being asked to consider increasing the charge for early and online garden waste collections by £1, from £32 to £33. Any payments (not including online payments) made after 1 March will remain at £35. Streetscene is currently facing a budget pressure of £50k due to increasing operational costs, which come about as a result of not increasing the garden waste subscription fee since 2018-19. It is estimated that the £1 increase would raise £32,000 and equates to an increase of just 5 pence per collection, which councillors supported at this week’s Scrutiny Committee meeting.