Residents refuse three-weekly bin collection plan as hundreds sign waste petition

A controversial new rubbish collection system is being trialed as Cardiff Council works to improve recycling rates

Pentwyn Cllr Joe Carter (left) and Cllr Dan Naughton (right) launched the petition after receiving complaints “week in week out” that residents “struggle with fortnightly black bin collections”.

HUNDREDS of “ignored” residents have signed a petition calling on Cardiff Council to “rule out” proposals for three-weekly bin collections.  

The council is considering changes to bin collection, which would see general waste collected every three weeks, instead of the current fortnightly collection.  

The petition, which has gathered 917 signatures, will be presented to the cabinet during a full council meeting this Thursday (24 November).  

Pentwyn Councillor Joe Carter, a Welsh Liberal Democrat who is behind the petition, said the area’s small wheelie bins would overflow by the three-week mark.  

But while three-weekly collections have been set out in Cardiff Council’s Towards Zero Waste Strategy as “an option to increase the recycling rates”, they are not currently being implemented.

“If recycling rates improve, there would be no need to change to three-weekly collection,” Pentwyn Cllr Jess Moultrie said.  

“However, it cannot be ruled out especially if there is evidence to suggest that it helps encourage more recycling from residents.” 

To try improve recycling rates, Cardiff Council also introduced a pilot kerbside sorting recycling system to 4,000 homes in January this year. This replaced mixed recycling bags with a blue glass caddy, red and blue reusable sacks for tins, plastic, paper and card to be sorted. 

The red sack will be used for plastic and metal, and the blue sack will be used for paper and cardboard.

This is now to be rolled out premanently across the city over the next two years in an attempt to meet Welsh Government targets after Cardiff Council fell short of the target of recycling 64 per cent of its waste in 2019/20.

Welsh Government targets for 2025:

  • 26% reduction in waste
  • Zero waste to landfill
  • 50% reduction in avoidable food waste
  • 70% recycling
A blue caddy, similar to a food bin, will be used to collect glass.

Llanedeyrn, in Pentwyn, took part in the pilot. 

According to Cardiff Council, this pilot reduced contamination rates from 30 percent to six percent.

While the recycling system does not appear in the petition Cllr Carter said it’s still a cause for concern, with residents feeling their opinions have been “completely ignored”.

A consultation on the pilot, published in September, revealed 54.8 per cent were either fairly or strongly dissatisfied with the system.

The consultation also revealed 67.3 per cent filled their wheelie bins every fortnight.  

“It showed it was overwhelmingly disliked by people,” Cllr Carter explained.  

“They found they had concerns about the bags getting wet, about recycling escaping, bags being blown around once emptied. They’re worried about storing them, these things need to be kept somewhere dry.

“So if you don’t have a garage or shed to put them in, you’re forced to put them in your house or flat, which is undesirable. That’s the concern, and that’s been completely ignored.” 

To enable the new kerbside sorting system the council will have to buy new waste collection vehicles, allowing workers to separate recycling while collecting rather than through a secondary sorting process. The older vehicles proved “unreliable and caused operational difficulties” during the pilot.

The council do not know how much the new vehicles will cost.

Cllr Jess Moultrie said the “council is listening to residents”, but stressed the importance of “protecting our climate”.

Cllr Moultrie added: “The council is listening to residents. However, it is so important to ensure we are protecting our climate. I am 24-years-old and I remember learning about recycling in school and I would stress about protecting our climate as best as we can.  

“The Liberal Democrats talk about bold action on climate change, which is why I am confused as to why Cllr Carter is not working to improve recycling rates and the service.” 

Cllr Carter said he is in favour of a new recycling system, but one that is better-liked by residents: “We would like the council to experiment with other forms of separated recycling such as a coloured wheelie bins and see what the results are.  

“Is public satisfaction higher with that over the sacks? We all need to be recycling more, but we worry that this approach isn’t practical and will cause more litter.”