The first of three major changes to waste and recycling services in Pembrokeshire is due to be rolled out soon.
From the 3rd June, householders who take their bin bags to the county’s waste and recycling centres will be asked to demonstrate that they do not contain any recyclable items.
The aim is to encourage more people to recycle as the County Council faces punitive fines if Welsh Government recycling targets are not met.
Later this month, staff at the county’s six waste and recycling centres will be handing out leaflets and speaking with householders and businesses explaining how the new bag-sorting scheme will operate.
The Council’s communications team will also be sharing information and guidance via their social media channels and the County Council website.
“We anticipate that before making the journey to their local centre, many householders will have already ensured that their general bin bag is free of any recyclable material,” explained Councillor Cris Tomos, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment.
“If recyclable items are in the general waste bags then householders will be asked to remove them and simply place them in the recycling containers.’
“We are determined to improve to ensure that we hit our targets. If we fail, the Council will be heavily fined and it would be unacceptable to have to divert much needed cash from essential services.
“Every one of us has a duty to recycle. It is a hot topic at the moment, especially with the concern being shown by environmentalists like David Attenborough over the amount of plastic in our oceans.
“We therefore anticipate that householders will show support for this initiative and recycle responsibly in their own homes.”
Explaining why the bag-sorting scheme has to work, the Council’s Head of Environmental Services and Public Protection, Richard Brown, said: “We need to increase the amount that we recycle in Pembrokeshire to meet Welsh Government’s targets.
“We currently recycle 60 per cent of our waste but we need to recycle 64 per cent by next year and 70 per cent by 2024 - 2025. If we miss these targets, Welsh Government will fine Pembrokeshire £140,000 for every one per cent we miss the target by.
“These changes will help ensure Pembrokeshire becomes more recycling focused and meets the targets, while also improving our environment. Wales is at the forefront of recycling on global scale and we are just a part of the story.
“We want to assure householders that, far from being a reduction in service, this is an initiative that will help everyone to dispose of the same amount of waste but in a better way.
“Our operatives will offer on-site support to anyone who is unsure about the process but our message is that these changes are not unique to Pembrokeshire.”
Two further significant changes to the Council’s waste service will take place later this year – the introduction of a free fortnightly Absorbent Hygiene Products collection (on request) starting in August and more changes to the kerbside collection services from October.
Further details will be available nearer their implementation dates.
For more information visit www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/wastechanges