30 January 2018 by Elizabeth Slow

Move to four-weekly collections confirmed by Conwy

Conwy council has approved a decision to roll-out four-weekly residual waste collections across the whole county, following a “successful” trial.

The move from a three to four-weekly black bin collection system will be phased in by the end of 2019, in a move to tackle waste and increase recycling, the council said. Recycling will continue to be collected weekly under the scheme, using a kerbside sort system.

Savings

A Conwy recycling vehicle at work

A savings report by the authority states: “In addition to the significant environmental benefits, the financial difference between operating three weekly (17 collections per year) and four weekly (13 collections per year) is £390,000 per year.”

And, according to the council, the year-long trial of 10,900 properties throughout the county (see letsrecycle.com story) showed recycling increased by 14% and black bin (residual) waste reduced by 31%, saving 1,040 tonnes from landfill. Collections are carried out by an in-house team.

However, the authority said that while most residents in the trial area had taken up the challenge to recycle more and waste less, some residents had required additional help with the new system.

Some of the new measures proposed include a second bin for larger families, free bulky waste collections, mobile recycling centre services in rural areas, additional collections over Christmas, expansion of the nappy service and special assistance for particular circumstances such as when people miss a collection due to being on holiday.

“Opportunity”

Addressing the Cabinet, council leader, Cllr Gareth Jones, said: “Time is not on our side neither locally, nor globally. Increasingly, environmental and sustainability needs are changing political and economic policies. We are witnessing that – we have an opportunity to play our part in accelerating that change or stalling it.

“The message I want to present and I hope we can accept is that we accelerate our drive towards increasing recycling and reducing residual waste; that we educate ourselves in what that means and how we can help our residents achieve it.”

Three-weekly refuse bin collections and a trial of four-weekly refuse collections for 10,600 households were introduced throughout the county in September 2016.

Plastic bottles which have been recycled by Conwy residents

The council’s decision to change refuse collection frequency was made following a year-long review of households’ recycling and waste habits, which found that over half of the items thrown into wheelie bins in Conwy could have been recycled, wasting £1.6m every year.

According to the council, more than 11,000 householders replied, with the majority agreeing that the steps should be taken to reduce waste.

Fife

The four-weekly scheme is the first of its kind in Wales, following Fife council’s decision to trial a reduced timetable in a bid to reduce costs and boost recycling in summer 2016 (see letsrecycle.com story).

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