Find out more

We’ve taken questions that people have already asked about the new waste and recycling scheme and have organised them into the following categories. Please click on each heading to find out more.

Why the new system is being introduced

How the new system will work

Help, support, enforcement and dispensations

Community Recycling Centres

Council tax, wheelie bins, pests, pet waste and more

Changes to collection days

Bits and Bobs bin bag characters looking curious thinking: exactly how big will the new recycling containers be?

Why the new system is being introduced

Why has the council changed its refuse collection arrangements?

Because the Welsh Government recognises that our planet cannot continue to cope with the amount of rubbish we are throwing away, burning or putting back into the earth.

They have set new targets of 64 per cent in 2019-20, and 70 per cent in 2024-25 for how much household waste needs to be recycled.

The new system is being introduced because the current kerbside system will not be enough to meet these recycling targets.

What are the benefits of recycling more waste?

It is cleaner, healthier and better for the environment in which we live, uses less natural resources and saves money.

Recycling saves about 10-15 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year in the UK, which is the equivalent of stopping 3.5 million cars from pumping out fumes and burning up fuel.

Most of what we throw away can be reused - for example, recycling aluminium cans saves up to 95 per cent of the energy needed to make new cans from fresh raw materials, and the energy required to create just a single new can is enough to power a television set for three hours.

Every item recycled makes a difference, and there is always room to recycle more. In Wales, 725,000 plastic bottles are used every day, but only half end up being recycled.

Will there be penalties for not hitting the new targets?

Yes – if Bridgend County Borough misses the 64 per cent recycling target for 2019-20 by just one per cent, it could mean a fine of around £100,000. This goes up the more an area misses a target by, and the costs will have to be met by local taxpayers.

So if we kept the current system and maintained our 58 per cent recycling rate, it would result in fines of almost a million pounds a year.

How did you select the new system?

We carried out extensive public consultation and worked alongside recycling experts WRAP Cymru and our waste partners, Kier, to identify a system which will enable households to recycle as much waste as possible.

The system needed to be one that could be applied within each of the county borough’s communities and across a variety of geographical terrain (coastal, town, rural, valley etc.).

Householders are already used to using recycling sacks, and recycling vehicles will be fitted with special hooks so that the sacks can be attached before being emptied. An expanded version of the recycling sack system was found to be the most all-round suitable option.

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How the new system will work

What will the new recycling equipment include?

  • An orange 90-litre sack for cardboard.
  • A blue 90-litre sack for plastics and metal.
  • A white 45-litre sack for paper.
  • A 35-litre container for glass.
  • A 25-litre lockable food waste container and 5-litre kitchen caddy.

Will householders be able to request additional recycling equipment, e.g. an extra orange sack for cardboard?

Yes – there is no limit on how much recycling you can put out, and we can provide additional recycling equipment such as an extra sack or glass waste container. Only official recycling containers will be accepted for collection.

Will a two-bag fortnightly waste limit be enough?

Research by WRAP Cymru has revealed that the average refuse bag contains large quantities of materials that could have been recycled instead of going to landfill, including food (30.6 per cent) and paper and card waste (13.6 per cent).

Removing all recyclable items and placing them in the appropriate sack or container will help free a lot of space within landfill bags – there is no limit on how much recycling can be put out for collection, and householders can request additional equipment to help with this.

What if someone adds an extra waste bag to a neighbour’s pile?

Education and enforcement officers will investigate any abuse of the scheme and take appropriate action – however, it should be noted that the council wants to work with householders first and foremost, and help them become used to using the new system as quickly as possible. Enforcement action will always be a last resort.

Our officers will be speaking to local residents directly and visiting local communities to clarify how they can use the new system.

In cases where the scheme is being deliberately abused, the officers will be able to carry out a range of enforcement including investigating flytipping and issuing fixed penalty notices for littering, dog fouling and more.

Even if e.g. someone takes branded non-recyclable waste bags belonging to a neighbour, they will not gain anything as the two-bags-per-household limit will still apply.

Will the new waste bags be big enough?

The non-recyclable waste bags will have a 75-litre capacity and be made from 75 per cent recycled material. Research undertaken by WRAP Cymru has revealed that up to half of the current average household refuse bag is composed of items that could have been commonly recycle – mostly food waste.

Similar systems are already in place and working in other areas – e.g. Monmouthshire has had a successful two-bag limit in place for a number of years – and householders will be able to avoid problems with non-recyclable waste bags by ensuring that all recyclable materials are placed in the appropriate sack or container.

Will there be new collection vehicles?

New recycling trucks are being manufactured, but until they are ready existing trucks will continue to be used. The new vehicles will be introduced later in the year and will be specially built to accommodate the new recycling sacks and containers. New refuse trucks will also be introduced to collect non-recyclable waste bags.

What about flats and communal bin collection areas?

The communal collection points will continue to be used for recycling.

What are you doing about cardboard recycling at estates and sheltered housing? We currently use communal bins but there is no facility for recycling cardboard.

It WILL be possible to recycle cardboard at these sites. All cardboard will be collected for recycling if it is placed in the same communal bin as paper from Monday 5 June onwards. It will then be separated and recycled by Kier.

Can I put out three rubbish bags one fortnight, and then one bag for the following collection?

No, it will not be possible to do this. If residents were allowed to place out an average of two bags per fortnight as opposed to a maximum of two bags, the crews would have no way of differentiating between those who are working to an average of two bags per fortnight, and those who are simply not complying and not recycling fully.

As a result, we would be unable to target areas where we need to take action to educate residents until individuals run out of bags because they used them too quickly - by which point we will have missed the opportunity to change their behaviour.

Why does a single person living alone have the same waste allocation as a family of five?

We have had to design a service that is affordable and meets the needs of the majority of residents. While it may seem unfair that a single person household is treated the same as a family of five, there had to be a cut off somewhere and, based on the findings of other councils that have introduced similar restrictions, a two bag limit is achievable for the average household of five people.

In my street, everyone puts their rubbish bags into one big pile. How will you know who has put out more than their limit of bags?

All homes will be given enough blue rubbish bags to last them a year, and anyone who regularly puts out more than their two bags by adding them to someone else’s pile, putting them in communal piles etc, will soon find that they run out of bags.

It will be possible to request more bags as we appreciate that some residents will lose them, they may break etc, but if someone is regularly asking for bags it will become clear that they aren't complying. Our priority will be to work with householders first and foremost, and help them become used to using the new system as quickly as possible. Enforcement action will always be a last resort.

The new blue bin bags look a bit thin, and I’m concerned about people seeing my waste. Can I ‘double bag’ them?

Yes. Everyone is welcome to use a bin liner for their waste and then place that inside the blue bin bags. The waste does not to be visible or put loose into the new bags.

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Help, support, enforcement and dispensations

What do I do if I have a problem, query or complaint about using the new system?

Please call 01656 643643 or email recyclingandwaste@bridgend.gov.uk

Will larger households be able to have extra non-recyclable waste bags?

Yes – households with six or seven occupants will be able to have an extra bag per fortnight free, and households with eight or more occupants will be able to have two additional bags per fortnight free.

Checks will be carried out to ensure that households who are entitled to extra bags are not placing recyclable materials into them, and eligible homes will need to re-apply for the dispensation on an annual basis.

The additional bags will be a different colour to the other landfill bags to prevent abuse of the scheme. We will start taking registrations for the extra bags from 2 May 2017. Please call 01656 643643 or email recyclingandwaste@bridgend.gov.uk to register.

What about houses where the main heating source is a coal fire that produces ash?

These will also be able to put out an extra non-recyclable waste bag. We will start taking registrations for the extra bags from 2 May 2017. Please call 01656 643643 or email recyclingandwaste@bridgend.gov.uk to register.

What about people who need help in putting their recycling and non-recyclable waste bags out for collection?

People who meet eligibility criteria will be able to apply for and receive an assisted collection at their homes.

What about households with young children? Can we recycle nappies now?

Yes – these will be a separate Absorbent Hygiene Products collection, which will enable you to have nappies collected every fortnight. We will start taking registrations for this service from 2 May 2017. Please call 01656 643643 or email recyclingandwaste@bridgend.gov.uk to register.

Will there be any changes to bulk waste, sharps, clinical waste or assisted collections?

If you need to dispose of sharps, please contact the ABMU Clinical Waste Line – 01792 285421 (Mon – Fri between 9 a.m. – 12 midday) and a member of the clinical waste team will co-ordinate their collection from your home.

For clinical waste, people who are self-medicating with no clinical infections will be able to place dressings and bandages in their landfill bags – we will be writing to existing users of this service with further clarification.

Assisted collections for eligible residents will continue to be provided, and there will also be a free absorbent waste collection service for nappies and related items (excluding feminine hygiene products).

How will abuse of the scheme be dealt with?

The council wants as many people to recycle as possible, and will be focusing on education rather than enforcement. Our officers will be speaking to local residents directly and visiting local communities to clarify how they can use the new system.

In cases where the scheme is being deliberately abused, the officers will be able to carry out a range of enforcement including investigating flytipping and issuing fixed penalty notices for littering, dog fouling and more.

Even if e.g. someone takes branded landfill waste bags belonging to a neighbour, they will not gain anything as the two-bags-per-household limit will still apply.

Will the proposals encourage fly tipping?

The Welsh Government has reported that fly tipping incidents in Wales have steadily declined since 2008-09 despite the fact that most local authorities have introduced new waste and recycling procedures.

While there may be a minority of irresponsible people who will try and dump their rubbish indiscriminately, our investigations suggest that rather than being linked to domestic waste, much of the fly tipping that takes place in the county borough is related to businesses that illegally try to avoid waste disposal costs – e.g. builder’s rubble, garden clearances, etc.

The council will continue to investigate such incidents and will take action against anyone who fly-tips rubbish, and urges residents to remain vigilant and report any incidents.

The new AHP bags for nappy collections look a bit thin, and I’m concerned about people seeing my waste.

Everyone is welcome to use a bin liner for their waste and then place that inside the AHP bags. The waste does not to be visible or put loose into the AHP bags.

When will the AHP bags be collected and how many can I put out?

The AHP bags will be collected fortnightly on the same day as your rubbish. There is no limit to the number of AHP bags you can put out.

I do not want people to see that a member of my family needs an AHP collection. Is there anything that can be done for me?

The majority of people who use the absorbent hygiene product [AHP] collection service will be parents who have nappies to recycle, so in all those cases we expect the AHP bags to be presented at the kerbside for collection as usual. However, we appreciate that there may be a small number of residents who will feel more comfortable with a discreet AHP collection, so in these exceptional circumstances it will be possible for these residents to request a discreet collection by contacting Kier on 01656 643643 or emailing recyclingandwaste@bridgend.gov.uk. Each request will be considered on a case by case basis.

Can grandparents who look after their grandchildren register for the AHP collection?

No. As grandparents tend to be living in a household that has a maximum of two people, if they recycle as much as possible then they should still have enough room in their blue waste bags to accommodate the nappies they accumulate while caring for their grandchildren.

Alternatively, the nappies can be bagged up and given back to the parent to put in their own purple AHP bags, if they have registered for the collections.

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Community Recycling Centres

Will people be able to take bags full of refuse to the Community Recycling Centres?

It will no longer be possible to throw a black bag into a skip without first ensuring that all recyclable materials have been removed.

Anyone who takes bags to the Community Recycling Centre will be asked to open the bags, remove all items that can be recycled and put them in the appropriate skips first.

How will this work?

An area will be provided where bags can be placed on tables alongside recycling receptacles. Householders will need to open the bags, remove any recyclable items and place them in the relevant containers. The non-recyclable items can then be disposed of in a separate landfill waste container.

How can people avoid having to do this?

If householders are planning on taking rubbish to the Community Recycling Centre, it is important to pre-sort any rubbish it so that recyclable materials can be easily disposed of on arrival.

A similar procedure has already been introduced in Rhondda Cynon Taff where sites there are recording recycling rates in excess of 90 per cent.

As the two black boxes used as part of the current kerbside scheme are not required for the new recycling procedures, householders may want to use these to help transport pre-sorted items to the Community Recycling Centre.

Does this apply to people who have dispensations?

Yes – it applies to everyone who opts to take rubbish to a Community Recycling Centre.

Will there be staff on hand to help and offer support?

Yes – staff from Kier will be happy to advise and assist users of our Community Recycling Centres.

Are any new community recycling centres planned?

Yes – a large new community recycling centre is currently being developed at Pyle and is expected to open for public use in 2018. There will be more news on this soon.

I’ve heard that I won’t be able to take any rubbish to the tip after 5 June. Is this true?

No. After 5 June, you WILL be able to take non-recyclable waste to the tip. The rumour that you won’t be able to take it is not true. What is changing after 5 June is the fact that if you take a bag/box to the tip you will be asked to pick out any recyclable items and place these into the correct skips for recycling. Then, any non-recyclable waste can go into the general waste skip. To save time, you may wish to pre-sort your materials before you get to the site – the current black boxes (which won’t be used after 5 June) will be ideal for this.

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Council tax, wheelie bins, pests, pet waste and more

Will the new system affect how much Council Tax I pay?

No - it costs approximately £2.50 a week per property to collect and dispose of the county borough’s waste and recycling, and only a small part of your council tax goes towards this.

Money raised via council tax will account for around £67m in the council’s budget during 2017-18. To put this in perspective, the council will spend £87m on education alone in that same period.

The bulk of council funding comes from grants and allocations from central Government rather than council tax.

Will the new scheme attract rats, seagulls and other vermin?

In the past, vermin have been attracted to food waste when it has been placed inside black refuse bags, and this has caused problems when the bags have been torn open.

Under the new system, householders can avoid problems by ensuring that all food waste is placed securely inside the lockable food container. The food waste will be collected alongside other recycling on a weekly basis.

Why isn’t the council using wheelie bins?

Wheelie bins would not be suitable for some of our steeper streets, especially in valley communities or on terraced streets.

Also, recycling systems where items are pre-sorted before they are collected help stop them from becoming cross-contaminated with other waste, and subsequently rejected.

Why can’t certain items be recycled, e.g. black plastic and Christmas wrapping paper?

We try to recycle as many different items as possible, but are reliant on the availability of companies and technology capable of processing materials in an economical and environmentally beneficial way.

Until national and international agreements on packaging are in place, there will always be differences in the types of materials that local authorities will be able to accept and recycle.

Some items are also unsuitable due to issues such as e.g. high levels of ink saturation.

What should I do with pet litter?

Recycling as many materials as possible will create a considerable amount of space in each 75-litre waste bag. Pet litter can be placed in those bags, while options for alternative disposal methods include the use of pet waste digesters and wormeries.

What do we do with the old black recycling boxes that we’ll no longer use after 5 June?

We would encourage all residents to re-use the old black boxes for storage, in the garden etc, while they will also be really useful for presenting your pre-sorted materials at the Community Recycling Centres. However, if you really don't want to keep them then it will be possible to hand them in at the Community Recycling Centres.

How will the crews be returning the recycling containers to the kerbside after they have emptied them?

They will place the three fabric bags inside the black glass container and then the food waste caddy will be stacked on top.

I’ve just had my last black bag collection, and my next refuse collection will be with the new blue bags. But I haven’t received the bags yet? What can I do with my waste?

Until you receive your blue bags, please continue to bag up your waste as you usually do, and then place those bags inside the new blue bags (when you get them) for your first collection after 5 June. You will also be able to do this in future weeks, as waste doesn't need to be loose inside the blue bags - it can be in bin liners/bags.

I have a large family and my recycling containers are nearly overflowing each fortnight. Is it possible to have extras?

Yes, there is no limit on the amount that you can put out for recycling, so if you find that you need more containers after 5 June, please email recyclingandwaste@bridgend.gov.uk or call 01656 643643.

Where am I supposed to store all of these recycling containers?

The new system uses one extra container compared to the current system, and they take up less space when empty due to there being less boxes. The way that each household stores their recycling is completely up to them, but it should be possible to store the new ones in the similar way to how you store your current ones. Residents who are restricted on space for storing their containers may wish to stack them all outside, put all of their recycling during the week in one indoor bin/bag and then when it gets to their recycling day take that bag outside and separate all of the recyclables into the relevant containers ready for collection.

What can I do with pet waste such as dog poo bags, cat litter etc?

Pet waste will need to go in the blue waste bags with the rest of your non-recyclable rubbish. Alternatively, you can take it to the community recycling centre. We would advise dog owners to make the most of the public bins that are available for them to use while out walking. If you recycle as much as you can then the average pet owner should have plenty of room inside their blue rubbish bags to accommodate their pet waste. Alternative disposal methods include the use of pet waste digesters and wormeries.

Can ladies’ sanitary products be recycled?

No, ladies' sanitary products should be put into your rubbish bags with the rest of your waste, as is currently the case.

How much money does the council make from recycling?

The council does not make money from the recycling. Kier receive an income from the sale of the recycled materials, but that is offset against the cost of providing the service, and the money generated from recyclable materials fluctuates.

Everything new comes with a lot of polystyrene these days, how do you propose we dispose of this?

When you buy a new TV, microwave etc then there is a lot of polystyrene, but such purchases aren’t made weekly. When you have a lot of polystyrene to throw out then you may want to do this bit by bit, adding in the polystyrene when you have room, or you may want to take it to a Community Recycling Centre where it can be recycled.

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Changes to collection days

Why are you changing some recycling and waste collection days?

Kier are changing some collection days to make their rounds more efficient. Doing so will help them cut down on the number of missed collections.

How do I know if my recycling and waste collection day is changing?

An information pack which includes a new collection calendar is being posted to every home in the county borough. Please check the calendar for details. It is also possible to check your collection day online here.

Due to a change in my collection day after 5 June, I now have a three week gap between collections. What am I supposed to do?

Anyone who has a three week gap between their refuse collections, due to a change in collection day, will be able to put out an extra waste bag for their first collection after 5 June. It will mean that you will be one bag down, but you'll get your next roll of bags before you run out of the current supply, so it shouldn't be a problem.

My recycling and waste collection day is changing. Does that mean my garden waste day is changing as well?

If your recycling and waste collection day is changing then your garden waste day won’t necessarily change as well. There are some changes to garden waste collection days that will need to be made soon, as Kier need to even out the rounds a bit, but unless you receive a letter about a change please continue to put your garden waste on the day you have already been told.

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