Council’s clampdown on contaminated recycling

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is calling on residents not to waste their waste in response to the increasing problem of contaminated recycling - and in particular, the issue of putting food waste in everyday recycling bags.

Thanks to the efforts of residents, recycling rates in the county borough are ever-increasing, and the new record was set when 64 per cent of overall waste was recycled in the 2016 calendar year. That figure was above the Welsh average (63 per cent) and Welsh government target (58 per cent), but the target will rise to 70 per cent by 2024-25.

Many residents are responding to the recycling message, but the increasing problem of contaminated recycling results in the council not being able to re-use many items, despite residents’ intention to recycle them.

Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s cabinet member for environment and leisure, said: “Recycling rates are currently at their highest-ever level in Rhondda Cynon Taf, comparing favourably with other areas in Wales. We are currently above the Welsh government’s target, but the figure will rise to 70 per cent in the coming years so it is important progress is maintained.

“Not cleaning out food containers before recycling, or putting food waste or nappies in with your dry recycling bag, can lead to a whole week’s worth of recycling being wasted. The message to residents is clear – don’t waste your waste.

“The council provides weekly food waste collections and a nappy recycling scheme in an effort to make recycling as easy as possible for residents.

“By cleaning your recyclable food containers and putting food waste in your separate food waste bags you will help to make a huge difference to the number of items that we can recycle and re-use.”