Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Cabinet Meeting: 14th March, 2012


Report of the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services


Recycling Performance since introduction of the Co-mingled Recycling kerbside Collection Service in September 2011


Purpose of the Report

1.             To advise Cabinet of the success of the new co-mingled kerbside recycling service.


1.             That Cabinet note the increased recycling rate achieved since introducing the change to co-mingled recycling collection in September 2011.

2.             That the report to referred to Scrutiny (E&E) Committee for their information.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To advise Cabinet.

2.             To advise the Scrutiny Committee..


2.             The Vale of Glamorgan was historically one of the higher performing recycling Councils.  However over the last few years dry recycling tonnages for the alternate week kerbside sort collection service have plateaued.  While other Welsh Councils were showing increased performance, the Vale of Glamorgan had fallen lower and lower in its overall recycling rate by comparison.  This culminated in the Council failing to achieve the Welsh Government (WG) statutory recycling target of 40% for 2009/10 by only managing to recycle 37.8% of its municipal waste.

3.             The Council only avoided facing possible WG fines of £200 per tonne, for each tonne it fell below the WG target, because Wales as a whole exceeded the 40% recycling figure.  Our full year rate for 2010/11 did not improve much from the previous year at 40%. 

4.             Cabinet have previously been advised of the limitations of the kerbside sort recycling collection system in meeting future Welsh statutory recycling targets, and of the outcome of a 'Joint Improvement and Efficiency Programme Study' (JIMPE) commissioned between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and WG, aimed at reviewing the Council's waste management arrangements.

5.             A participation survey carried out in parallel with theJIMPE study showed that the Vale of Glamorgan had high participation in recycling, though the capture rate (the amount of recycling placed for collection) was significantly lower than should be expected.  This strongly suggesting that the source segregated collection system was not suitable in the Vale of Glamorgan for producing the high yield tonnages needed to meet WG targets.  

6.             Cabinet on the 6 July 2011 Resolved (minute C136 refers) FUTURE KERBSIDE RECYCLING COLLECTIONS (VBS) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -


(1)  T H A T dry recyclables are collected co-mingled on a weekly basis from September 2011.

(2)  T H A T the Council’s Municipal Waste Management Strategy be amended to reflect this service change.

(3)  T H A T the long term service change recommendations included within the JIMPE report be considered by officers and further reports be presented to Cabinet in respect of these matters.

(4)  T H A T the Council agree to work in partnership with the Welsh Government by signing up to their new Collaborative Change Programme, to help plan for longer term sustainable kerbside recycling services.

(5)  T H A T authority be granted to increase the establishment by employing one supervisor, two additional large goods vehicle drivers and 12 additional loaders.

(6)  T H A T the report be forwarded to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) for consideration.

(7)  T H A T the report be forwarded to Community Liaison Committee for information.

Reasons for decisions

(1)  To better enable the Council to meet its future recycling targets whilst also reducing the costs of this service to realise financial savings required over the next three years.

(2)  To ensure that the Strategy is suitably updated to reflect the service change.

(3)  To allow proper consideration of all other recommendations within the JIMPE study.

(4)  To assist in ensuring that all future recycling targets are met.

(5)  To replace a number of existing staff who are presently engaged via an agency arrangement and to ensure that the most appropriate skilled and experienced staff are used on this service in future.

(6)  To allow consideration of the report by the Scrutiny Committee.

(7)   For the information of the Committee.

Relevant Issues and Options

7.             One of the main recommendations of the JIMPE work was that the Council implement a weekly co-mingled kerbside recycling collection service to increase recycling performances to assist in reaching the WG's 52% recycling target for 2012/13.  This revised kerbside recycling collection service commenced in September 2011 and has now been operating for 6 months (Q2 & Q3 for the 2011/12 fiscal year). 

8.             In addition, 2011/12 was the first full year of the weekly kitchen food waste and fortnightly residual waste collection scheme.

9.             As a consequence of this and the change to the co-mingled kerbside collection;  data from WG statistics (Knowledge and Analytic Service) for Wales shows that the Vale of Glamorgan is now one of the most improved Welsh Councisl in respect to recycling performance.  Within their 'Local Authority Municipal Waste Management July- September 2011' report it states, when comparing recycling rates in 2011 with those in 2010 the Vale of Glamorgan had one of the biggest increases in their reuse/recycling/composting rates, 6% up on the previous year.

10.        The Council's own Wastedataflow submission to WG for quarter 3 of the 2011/12 fiscal year shows that it current recycling rate for Q3 was 54.5%, with a forecast of over 51% for 2011/12 year end.  This compares with a total recycling rate for 2010/11 of 40%.

11.        It is anticipated that the Council will exceed the WG's 52% statutory target for 2012 / 13, considering that the revised collection service has only been in place since September 2011, and that additional recycling materials (tetra paks, aerosols and foil) have only recently (1 December 2011)been included within the kerbside collection arrangements.  This is further assisted by the Cabinet decision to allow donations for charity and commercial undertakings (min C1571 refers).

12.        One of the main concerns expressed with co-mingled collections was that of increased contamination.  The recycling contamination rate for the last full year of source segregated collections was 5%.  The contamination rate for the first two quarters of 2011/2 (source segregated) was 2.1%.  For the first quarter for co-mingling (quarter 3 2011/12) the contamination rate was 3.1%.  This compares very favourable with our previous source segregated recycling collection method.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

13.        It is anticipated that the co-mingling financial saving target of £200k for 2011 /12 will be met (mainly due to the renegotiation of the recycling treatment contract) even though the service did not start until September 2011.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.        The Waste (Wales) Measure 2010 sets statutory recycling targets in line with 'Towards Zero Waste', the overarching waste strategy document for Wales and Part 1 of the 'Municipal Sector Plan'.

15.        Part 1 of the 'Municipal Sector Plan' published by WG on the 10th February 2010 whilst contributing towards the suite of documents that comprise the Wales Waste Strategy, is not in itself a statutory document.  However under the Waste (Wales) Measure the Council does have a duty to meet the recycling targets and could be fined should they fail to do so.  There is currently no statutory requirement to provide any specific method of collection.

16.        'The Recycling, Preparation for Re-use and Composting Targets (Monitoring and Penalties) (Wales) Regulations 2011' allow WG to impose fines on Local authorities who fail to meet their statutory targets as defined in the Waste (Wales) Measure 2010.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.        There are no Crime and Disorder Implications associated with this report.  There have been reports of recycling thefts from the kerbside by individuals who can obtain small payments for recycling from a commercial undertaking within the Vale of Glamorgan.  However this is linked to the current high demand and not a consequence of the change to co-mingling collections.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.        There are no equal opportunity implications as a result of this report as the service is available to all householders.  In addition supported collection arrangements are available to any householder with difficulties in accessing the kerbside service.

19.        A full Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) is not required for this service change.  An equalities review has been undertaken and this information is available on the Council’s website.

Corporate/Service Objectives

20.        It is a Corporate Priority to:

To work with partners to develop a sustainable community which maximises opportunities for economic growth, social improvement and environmental regeneration and protection.

Improvement Objective:

To protect and enhance the Vale’s natural and built environment.


R5 Increase waste recycling rates to 50% and reduce levels of residual waste (2013).

Policy Framework and Budget

21.        This report is within the policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.        A recent 'Co-mingling Feedback' survey conducted via our Web site showed that 80% of respondents agreed that co-mingling made it easier to recycle, and 62% felt that they would recycle more as a result of co-mingling.

23.        As recycling performance is measured across the whole of the Vale of Glamorgan no specific consultation has been carried out with Ward Members.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

24.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers



Contact Officer

Clifford Parish, Operational Manager Waste Management and Cleansing Tel:  No.  02920 673220


Officers Consulted

Accountant, Building and Visible Services

Operational Manager Corporate Policy and Communications

Operational Manager Legal Services



Responsible Officer:

Rob Quick, Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration