Cardiff Recycling Centre is below par when it comes to the latest government set targets for waste recycling for the area prompting council leaders to reassess and replan the collection and recycling processes they currently employ. Kerbside collections are just one of the things on the line for some potential changes.
It’s been reported in the local press that Cardiff has one of the worst reputations for recycling in the whole of Wales, as a city they are failing miserably on the Governmental set target of 64% of all waste to be recycled. Stat Wales data for Cardiff shows only 54% of waste was recycled leaving Cardiff at risk of receiving a fine from the Welsh Government.
One of the things on the agenda is how local residents actually recycle their waste, with some in the council suggesting pre-sorted kerb side collections rather than the current mixed recycling system that’s currently in place. The idea being this will improve recyclable rates by encouraging residents to think about what they recycle.
“The development of a new collection model for recycling is currently taking place to improve recycling performance so we can ensure collections are effective and efficient. This work includes reviewing the kerbside separation of metal and plastic containers, paper, card, and glass to reduce contamination of co-mingled recycling and improve Cardiff’s recycling performance. The new recycling strategy will be unveiled in the autumn.” said Cllr Michael Michael, (cabinet member for clean streets, recycling and environment)
One of the problems highlighted in the meetings was the fact that residents tend to put the wrong items in with the allowable mixed recycling. Having unrecyclable items mixed in the amongst recyclables often rendered the entire batch unfit for sorting or recycling. The only recourse for contaminated recycling batches is for it to be incinerated, although the incinerator does generate usable energy in the process it’s not what Cardiff want for their recycling program and neither do residents.
Instead of the current mixed recycling kerbside collection service that is currently being used in Cardiff, council bosses are considering a pre-sorted collection program that would see residents sorting different waste into separate bins or receptables ready for collection, the council collection team would then handle each waste stream independently on a specially designed vehicle.
This means that recyclable waste arrives at the recycling centre pre-sorted saving time and costs at that point of the process. Council bosses also feel that this kind of separated waste collections gives the residents a clearer understanding of what waste goes with what and what can and cannot be recycled which, in turn, would hopefully feed through to lower rates of contaminated waste heading to the incinerator.
Not all within the realms of the council are currently convinced on the idea, with some expressing concerns that more resident education would be needed to implement the scheme and the fact that residents will need to have more collection receptables at the property to store numerous different waste streams prior to collections could hinder resident co-operation on the proposed changes.
There is also added concerns with local traffic, specialist pre-sorted collection vehicles take longer to load as each waste stream is loaded individually, this adds to traffic build up in the areas on collection day.
Resident consultations and other items such as costings are to be considered prior to council bosses revealing their findings later this year.