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Fresh calls for Newport Council to revise new recycling system for terraced houses

Recycling bags on a pavement in Newport (Pic: LDRS)

NEWPORT City Council is facing fresh calls to revise its system of recycling containers, with claims it could make streets safer and more attractive.

Nearly one in five streets in Newport is home to properties without front gardens, resulting in “recycling and refuse bins being permanently located on public pavements”, according to one councillor.

Liberal Democrat councillor Carmel Townsend said bins left out on “narrow” pavements create “physical obstacles” for people with sight or mobility issues, or those using prams and mobility scooters.

The permanent positioning of these containers on terraced streets also result in a “poor environment”, visually-speaking, and there is a further risk of the bins being blown around in all-too-common periods of bad weather, added Cllr Townsend.

Citing Welsh Government guidance on equalities and pedestrian travel, she asked the council to “look at how the recycling and refuse service can be amended for the 18 per cent of Newport streets” which do not have front gardens for bin storage.

In response, Cllr Yvonne Forsey, the cabinet member for climate change, said the current system “works well for the vast majority of residents and areas”.

However, she acknowledged “having bins for waste does not suit everybody”.

Newport Council’s position is that the benefits of the current containers “outweigh the negatives” and that replacing them with sacks, for example, could be “more unsightly and lead to issues such as increased litter”.

“We currently have no plans to move away from bins, but the council is always open to, and will actively search for, best practice in this space,” Cllr Forsey added.

Cllr Townsend’s calls for change come after another councillor complained the various recycling containers were a nuisance for people living in terraced houses.

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Cllr Allan Morris, an independent, told colleagues in April that stacks of bins and boxes on pavements was “not a good look”, and urged decision-makers to “try to make things a little bit easier and more customer-focused for the people that live in terraced houses”.

At the time, then-leader Cllr Jane Mudd said the current system was “effective” and “the envy of other local authorities”.

Providing an alternative method for recycling collections could “cost up to 10 times as much” as the current system, Cllr Mudd added at the time.