Swansea Council Implements Changes in Waste Collection Methods

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Residents of Swansea will soon witness alterations in waste disposal practices as Swansea Council initiates plans to replace green plastic bags with reusable containers for kerbside collections. The decision, aimed at enhancing sustainability efforts, follows agreements reached between the council and Welsh Government officials.

The head of waste, cleansing, and parks at Swansea Council announced the forthcoming transition during a council committee meeting. The spokesperson highlighted the environmental benefits of this move, noting that while the green plastic bags currently in use contribute to recycling efforts, they are single-use items. The switch to reusable containers aligns with Swansea’s ongoing commitment to improving recycling and composting rates, which surpassed 70% ahead of schedule in 2022-23.

The initiative, partly funded by the Welsh Government, aims to address the estimated 10 million green plastic bags used annually by Swansea residents. These bags are typically filled with recyclable materials such as glass, cans, paper, and cardboard. The council’s decision to introduce reusable containers reflects a broader trend towards sustainable waste management practices across the UK.

In addition to phasing out green plastic bags, Swansea Council is considering ceasing garden waste collections during December and January, months when garden activity is minimal. This proposal follows a successful trial period and could potentially optimise resource allocation within the waste collection service.

Furthermore, Swansea has positioned itself as a pioneering council by expressing interest in trialling the kerbside collection of additional materials such as plastic film, cartons (including Tetrapaks), textiles, and small electrical items. This proactive approach underscores Swansea’s dedication to exploring innovative solutions to waste management challenges.

Despite commendations for Swansea’s achievements in waste management, concerns have been raised regarding the timeliness of kerbside waste collections. A councillor emphasised the importance of improving collection efficiency to minimise instances of late collections and subsequent spillage. They also advocated for exploring the conversion of food waste into fertiliser, a measure that aligns with broader sustainability objectives.

A council representative defended the current waste collection system, attributing occasional delays to factors such as vehicle breakdowns and staff absences. However, they acknowledged the need for ongoing improvements and committed to exploring the feasibility of food waste-to-fertiliser initiatives.

The closure of Tir John landfill site has prompted Swansea to seek alternative waste disposal methods. Black bag waste, once destined for Tir John, is now transported for incineration at an “energy-from-waste” facility located outside the county. Food waste undergoes conversion into biogas at a site near Bridgend, contributing to renewable energy production and soil enrichment through residual by-products.

Garden waste from Swansea is transported to Carmarthenshire for composting, with a portion of the resulting compost returned to Swansea for local use. While some councillors lamented the loss of composting facilities previously available at Tir John, a council representative highlighted the logistical challenges associated with small-scale composting operations.

Looking ahead, Swansea Council anticipates improved waste collection efficiency with the recent addition of new refuse vehicles. A councillor expressed optimism regarding reduced vehicle breakdowns following the procurement of additional vehicles, underscoring the council’s commitment to enhancing waste management infrastructure.

As Swansea embarks on these changes, stakeholders remain hopeful that the transition to reusable containers will yield tangible environmental benefits while addressing operational challenges within the waste management system. With ongoing discussions and initiatives, Swansea continues to demonstrate its dedication to sustainable practices and environmental stewardship.

Dawn Jackson
Dawn Jacksonhttps://newswriteups.com/
Journalist Dawn is an experienced business journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering stories that impact local communities, Dawn brings a unique perspective to her work. Through her insightful reporting, she keeps readers informed about the latest developments in various regions, shedding light on the economic landscape and entrepreneurial endeavours. Dawn's dedication to delivering accurate and engaging business news makes her a valuable asset to the News Write Ups team. dawn@newswriteups.com

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