Agenda item



The Committee considered the Future Waste Strategy report which was presented by Cabinet Member for Environment.


The report information on the proposed future strategy, actions and considerations for the Waste Service, in order to achieve 70% recycling by 2024/25 and provide a base for improvements to achieve zero waste by 2050.


The following comments/queries were raised on the report:-


·       Reference was made the Service Comparison and Performance Section of the report.  In relation to the table which depicted the performance against collection methodology of the 22 Welsh Authorities in 2019/20, it was observed that the percentage rate of the average reuse, recycling and composting rate across the Authorities seemed to portray little difference despite some already having adopted the Blueprint methodology.  The Cabinet Member for Environment emphasised that the Welsh Government would only provide the necessary funding if the Authority adopted the Blueprint methodology. 

In addition, it was explained to Members that this methodology would facilitate cleaner materials lessening contamination enabling expediate recycling within the UK.  The Head of Waste and Environmental Services explained that the difficulties in relation to the comparison table was that the baseline where Local Authorities started prior to the adoption of the Blueprint methodology was not identified.


Furthermore, Members were informed that fundamentally the Blueprint methodology embraced a circular economy, enabling better use of existing materials and adopting better quality of materials supporting the composition of the circular economy.


·       In order to raise awareness and inform householders of what material to place in which colour bag and to promote recycling, it was suggested that a leaflet be distributed alongside the annual deliveries.  The Environmental Services Manager stated that in respect of both black bag and blue recycling bag collections, educational letters would be distributed to households where an issue had been identified, this would be supported by a visit if necessary.


·       It was asked if the Blueprint methodology were to be adopted, would the glass recycling centres remain in situ as they were a vital service for all communities?  The Environmental Services Manager explained that the current network of Glass Bring Sites would be reduced which would be considered on the basis that the most utilised site would be retained. However, this process would not take place until the weekly glass kerbside collections were in place across the County in 2024.


·       A concern was raised echoing the concerns raised within the Waste Collection Engagement Thematic Analysis appended to the report regarding the collection of 3 black bags every three weeks and the possibility that the proposal would increase the likelihood of vermin, odour and fly-tipping in communities.  The Cabinet Member for Environment referred a section within the report, which stated that in 2017, Carmarthenshire County Council commissioned a waste analysis survey to identify the recyclable element of residual waste disposed of through the kerbside residual waste collections.  The results from this study presented in the table, exhibited that 46.1% the contents of residual waste bags (black bag) comprised of recyclable material, food waste and garden waste.  It was reported that should householders increase their household recycling, the 3-week collection of 3 black bags would be sufficient.


The Environmental Services Manager added that, by January 2022 the Council would be rolling out an expanded Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHP) service to households who subscribe to the service, to include the collection of children’s nappies.  Furthermore, exceptions to include large households of more than 6 people would be retained.  Reassurance was provided that the concerns raised within the consultation would be addressed in the service future design.


In response to a concern regarding the potential increase of fly-tipping as a result of the reduction of black bag collection to a 3 week collection, the Cabinet Member for Environment reiterated her earlier response regarding the high percentage of recyclable material being placed in black bags and emphasised that should householders make more use of the recycling facilities available, not only would fly-tipping be unnecessary, it would be irresponsible and enforcement would be carried out where necessary.


The Environmental Services Manager informed Members that prior to any changes to the waste services regime an engagement programme would take place and Officers would be available to provide support and guidance.


·       A concern was raised regarding women’s sanitary products and the unhygienic nature of these products being sat within black bags for up to 3 weeks prior to collection.  It was asked, if these products could be added to the current collection service for incontinence products.  The Environmental Services Manager stated that whilst sanitary products would not be accepted by the treatment provider, this was an area which would be considered as part of the future service design.


·       In response to further concerns regarding the issues of fly-tipping, the Director of Environment reminded Members that fly-tipping was a criminal act and that enforcement action would be carried out where possible subject to the evidence available.


Committee Members wished to note their gratitude to officers for their prompt work in responding to fly-tipping matters.




7.1     the direction of travel for service delivery set out for an interim solution followed by a longer-term service change. Including the interim proposals of:


a.    the move to weekly recycling collections.

b.    the change to three weekly residual collections.

c.    the separate collection of glass at the kerbside (3-weekly in the interim).


7.2     to commence the procurement of the additional vehicles required for the interim solution;


7.3    To develop the programme of longer-term service change for delivery in 2024 of:


a.    The move to Welsh Government “Blueprint” compliant recycling collections

b.    Weekly Glass recycling as part of the kerbside sort collection methodology.

c.    Additional material collections – textiles, Small Domestic Appliances and batteries.


Supporting documents: