Residents’ views sought on improving Neath Port Talbot’s recycling rates

Consultation is under way to gauge people’s views on some potential measures the council could consider in future to drive up recycling figures.

Neath Port Talbot Council will also ask residents what they usually recycle, and what can be done to help them recycle more of their household waste.

Cllr Scott Jones, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene, said: “With the help of our residents, Neath Port Talbot now has a creditable recycling rate approaching 68%. However, there is no certainty that the new Welsh Government target of recycling 70% of all our waste will be met this year.

“We made it clear in putting our waste strategy together that we would not alter the frequency of waste collections without further consultation with our communities.  For some households, the level of recycling means that there is little to collect in terms of black bin/black bag waste, but we know that this is not the case everywhere.

“It is important we hear from as many residents as possible so we can design a recycling collection system that works for people.”

The consultation asks questions on a range of things including

  • Whether residents should be able to mix paper and cardboard in one box so that the council can start collecting small electrical items in the other box
  • What else the council could do to help residents recycle more of their waste
  • What prevents residents from recycling more of their waste; particularly food waste
  • Whether the council should move to a paid-for, subscription service for green/garden waste to protect or enhance this service
  • Whether the council should move to a three weekly black bag/black bins collection

One area the council wants people’s views on is how we can increase food waste recycling. The council’s most recent analysis of collected waste showed that 40% of the contents of black bins and black bags were food waste (around 7,000 tonnes). If 2,600 tonnes of this could be recycled, then the 70% target could be achieved.

Cllr Scott Jones added: “To be clear, introducing three weekly collection of black bin/black bags is not in our plans for 2024-25, but we would like to know what people think the impact would be if this was an option we needed to consider in the future.”

The rising Welsh Government recycling targets are set to make our environments greener and cleaner with Wales currently among the top three recycling nations in the world and by far the best in Britain.

If the Welsh Government recycling performance targets are not met, councils face huge potential fines. For example each year, for every 1% that we miss the recycling target by, the council faces fines of £130,000.

Welsh Government targets will get more challenging in order to achieve zero waste by 2050, therefore further action must be considered to improve recycling rates across the county borough.

The quickest and easiest way to complete your consultation questionnaire is online at www.npt.gov.uk/recycling-consultation . For those not online, there are paper versions of the questionnaire and feedback boxes at venues across the county borough. These include libraries, community centres, civic centres, Celtic Leisure venues and other public buildings.