Flintshire to reintroduce ‘side waste’ penalties

Flintshire county council in north Wales will begin reinforcing financial penalties for residents who leave additional residual waste outside their bins.

Side waste refers to rubbish bags left outside of bins

The council will continue ‘side waste enforcement’ from September this year, after suspending the sanctions in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

From September, the council will enforce a three staged process for residents who are not presenting their waste and recycling correctly.

The process firstly will see residents receive a warning letter, then if there is no change, a notice of intention to take action, and on the third occasion, a notice of a fixed penalty.

Recycling rates

Since the sanctions have been suspended, the council reported that it has collected over 3,000 additional tonnes of residual waste from residential properties, which is a 12% increase in comparison to the previous year.

The council added that due to “strict national recycling targets” set by the Welsh Government, “this downturn in performance cannot be sustained”.

According to a council cabinet document published earlier this month, the additional tonnages of residual waste collected at the side of bins has had a “significant impact” on recycling performance, which has reduced from 69.16% in 2018/19 to 64.04% in 2020/2021.

It also calculated budget pressures of over £200,000 if the increase in residual waste tonnages were to continue post-pandemic.

The council said that most households should be able to fit their residual waste into their wheeled bin.

Recycling is collected every week and there is no limit on the amount of recycling residents can place out for collection.

‘Significant impact’

Flintshire’s cabinet member for streetscene, Councillor Glyn Banks, said: “The enforcement process for side waste is a three staged approach with the initial emphasis on informing and educating residents on the correct way to present their waste and recycling. Formal action for continued non–compliance is taken only when no improvement is observed following the first stage.

“Evidence has shown us that the education stage makes a significant impact on residents’ waste disposal.  We would, therefore, propose that we explore the options for a designated role to drive and deliver environmental improvement campaigns within local communities.”


Side waste enforcement in the county was first introduced in March 2018.

This process resulted in the reduction of over 1,200 tonnes of residual waste being collected, which was diverted from treatment to recycling.

This had a positive impact on the council’s recycling performance, which brought about a 1% increase in recycling for the year 2018/2019.


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