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Politics Rhondda Cynon Taf South Wales

Council to consider plans to standardise black bin bag collections

ALL residents of Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) could soon be putting their refuse out for collection in black bin bags rather than wheelie bins.

The council’s cabinet is set to consider proposals to standardise waste collections across RCT which would see black bag collections standardised across all areas of the county borough.

This would see residents including those in Cynon and Taf needing to place their general waste out for collection in a maximum of three standard size (70 Litre) bags from the end of September 2024.

Under the proposals, collections would remain the same in terms of frequency with the three bags collected every three weeks. Wheelie bins can still be kept and used for storage until collection day.

The only change proposed is that black bags would need to be taken out and presented at the kerbside for collections on the normal collection day and time.

The council said the proposals would ensure that residents and visitors would benefit from an improved “streetscape” by removing the bins as obstructions in between collections from pavements as the council had received many complaints about bins on footways, especially in narrow terraced streets.

It also said that the council could use its waste collection fleet more efficiently by having standardised vehicles across RCT, residents would not have to wheel or carry wheelie bins through their homes or up and down garden steps and the council could use other smaller vehicles to collect black bags if larger collection lorries were not able to access a street due to parked cars.

The director of highways, streetcare and transportation services, said: “The proposed changes would see a standardised waste collection method for all residents of Rhondda Cynon Taf – something a number of residents asked for during the changes last year.

“Data analysis of the proposed introduction of black bag collections for all appears  to come with a range of potential benefits, including an improved streetscape with less obstructions, increased recycling rates and a more efficient waste service along with improved utilisation of the waste fleet and less impact on residents that have no option at present other than to bring their bins through their properties or up and down garden steps, etc., as bins are not be kept on the footway 24/7.”

Under the proposals there would be no change to how often residents’ waste is collected which will still be every three weeks, there will be no change to the maximum limit of three black bags per household and no change to collection days or times.

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The council also said it needed to hit the government’s 70% recycling target for 2024/25 so that it avoided large fines.

Full year recycling data for 2023/24 shows that the council’s recycling rate has improved to 67.23%, up from 64.97% in 2022/23, thanks to the efforts of residents since the move to three weekly collections in 2023.

But it added that with less than a year to go to reach the Welsh Government’s statutory 70% target, recycling performance required further improvement beyond the measures taken during the last 12 months.

A review of the data since the 2023 changes were implemented, reveals, alongside the need to improve the efficiency of the service and increase recycling rates, there is a significant difference between those areas where wheeled bins are collected (Cynon and Taf) and those where black bags are collected directly from the kerbside (Rhondda) specifically in relation to recycling including food waste.

Data indicates that the Rhondda area recycles around 30% more and places out around 50% less black bag waste than in neighbouring areas.

Rhondda residents have been putting out black bags for collection for many years without bins and the council said this proposal would ensure that the whole of RCT operated the same standardised collection method, with better use of the council’s fleet and removing obstructions from the footways caused by the bins whilst for others it would mean they didn’t need to take bins back and forth through their homes.