Agenda Item No.











At its meeting on 6th December 2011, the Committee had requested an update on the Council’s recent new recycling arrangements, options for recycling initiatives and that further consideration be given to how recycling facilities could be provided at premises of multiple occupancy with both Housing and Planning Departments being reminded of the need to address waste issues when considering applications / issues in their service areas.


In February 2011 the Scrutiny Committee had considered a report regarding the use of incentive schemes to encourage recycling, following which various incentives schemes were considered with Elected Members favouring a combination of a recycling lottery and awards based on the performance of individual communities / wards. Officers had undertaken preparatory work for both types of schemes but neither had been introduced to date as a result of the significant service changes to co-mingling in September 2011.  The Head of Service advised that it would not have been appropriate to introduce an incentive scheme at the same time as the change to co-mingling as it would have been impossible to establish whether any improvement was as a result of the service change or the incentive scheme.  Officers would however now consider the introduction of any relevant incentive schemes during 2012/13 and to assist in this had commissioned a study by a University Graduate to investigate ways of incentivising recycling in a particular geographic area.  The study would form the dissertation for a Masters degree and would involve a case study of the Gibbonsdown area, this area being chosen as there were low levels of recycling collected compared to the proportion of the residual waste placed out for collection.  Also many properties did not front the highway, which made the successful use of personal recycling receptacles more difficult.  The study was due to be completed by the end of October 2012.


With regard to the recycling arrangements for multiple occupancy dwellings, one of the problems that weekly co-mingled recycling sought to address was that of insufficient storage.  The problem was actually a mixture of storage capacity and on occasions a refusal to use the services available.  Officers had had some success at Penarth and Barry in addressing the problems experienced by individual multiple occupancy dwellings, and had been able to introduce a range of bespoke measures aimed at ensuring that all residents benefited form the full range of waste and recycling services. An audit was currently being undertaken for the majority of multiple occupancy dwellings, of all the problems and a range of suggested solutions was to be identified.  Details of the audit would be reported to the Scrutiny Committee in the form of a matrix later in the year.  Welsh Government had also recognised that social and demographic conditions, including communities with communal waste collection arrangements, can have a direct relationship to poor recycling performance and as such, they are presently trialling a bespoke recycling service to specific areas in Merthyr Tydfil with additional grant support to improve recycling performance in these communities. 


It was also accepted that if improvements in recycling for new build and existing multiple occupancy dwellings were to be achieved it was essential that liaison between owners, developers, planning, housing and visible services took place early in the design process to agree methods of managing waste arising from the development.  Waste Management officers would therefore continue to work closely with colleagues to improve new build arrangements and to modify existing buildings / arrangements where necessary.  Members welcomed the report and having considered its contents subsequently




(1)       T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) and to the Planning Committee for consideration.


(2)       T H A T Committee receives reports on recycling rates for each Ward at six monthly intervals.


(3)       T H A T the significant improvement in recycling performance since the full roll out of weekly kitchen waste collections and the co-mingled collection of dry recyclables be noted.


(4)       T H A T the success achieved to date in improving recycling collection and storage arrangements for multiple occupancy dwellings and the further bespoke arrangements planned for the future be noted.


(5)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committee be presented with a further report following the conclusion of the audit of waste and recycling issues for multiple occupancy dwellings.


(6)       T H A T the work planned to commence in May 2012 to assist in informing initiatives and incentive schemes aimed at further encouraging kerbside recycling during 2012/13 be noted.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       For consideration.


(2)      To apprise Members.


(3&4)  To note the successes achieved to date and those planned for the future.


(5)       To inform Members and propose appropriate bespoke solutions where necessary.


(6)       To ensure that the barriers to recycling in specific geographic areas are known so that any initiatives or incentive schemes can be properly designed and targeted.”




Attached as Appendix – Report to Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 17th April, 2012