Purple Lidded Bins - Frequently Asked Questions

Between September and November, the majority of residents in Torfaen had their 240-litre black wheelie bin replaced with a 140-litre purple-lidded bin.

The new bins, known as skinny bins, were introduced to help the council meet strict Welsh Government targets for recycling.

If for any reason residents have still not received their bin, they should complete the skinny bin enquiry form.

Why have smaller bins been introduced?

In Torfaen, most of the waste produced by the average household, around 80 per cent, can be recycled at the kerbside so very little needs to be disposed of in the black wheelie bin. However, many people continue to use their wheelie bins to dispose of waste that could be recycled.

Reducing the amount of general waste collected at the kerbside is a proven way to encourage residents to make better use of the recycling facilities that are available.

Torfaen currently recycles 52 per cent of its waste and needs to increase this to 58 per cent in 2015/16, and 70 per cent by 2025. The council faces significant fines of around £100,000 for every one per cent it falls below these targets.

The introduction follows a consultation in 2014 where residents chose a fortnightly collection with a smaller bin over a bag system or monthly collection. The cost of the new bins and delivery was originally estimated to be around £750,000, however, the council has been able to keep costs to under £500,000. The old bins will be recycled and the money received used to off-set the cost of the roll out of the new ones.

Residents may need additional recycling containers to manage their extra recycling. You can request a new bin / black box / blue bag here.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have a large family and can't cope with a smaller bin

The smaller bins have been road tested with families of different sizes. A family of five, with two children in nappies and several pets, was easily able to manage provided they were also using the nappy collection service. However, if you find you are unable to cope please request a visit from a waste officer by completing the skinny bin enquiry form.

People already recycle everything they can

The council’s research, which includes regular monitoring across the borough, shows that only 50 per cent of residents who currently receive a black box recycling service actually put it out every week. Only 28 per cent of residents who receive a food recycling service put their food waste out every week.

Reducing the amount of general waste we collect at the kerbside should increase participation to 80 per cent for black box recycling per week, and 50 per cent for food waste, so there is still more work to be done.

Won’t this lead to more fly tipping?

Other councils which have introduced similar schemes have noticed a temporary increase in fly tipping which then reduces when residents become used to the new arrangements.

However, it is important to remember that fly tipping is a criminal offence, and any one caught will be fined.

Why can’t you target those people who don’t recycle instead of targeting everyone?

The changes introduced will affect those that do not recycle. Residents who currently fully use the recycling service should not have any difficulty in managing with the skinny bin. However those residents who currently do not will need to use the available recycling services to reduce the waste they put in their non-recyclable bin.

If I have extra waste to dispose of what should I do?

Any extra waste can be taken to the household waste recycling centre in New Inn. The council also offers a collection service for bulky household items such as furniture.

What about animal waste?

Waste and bedding from small animals such as guinea pigs can be put out in the green bin between March and November. When the green bin waste service is suspended during the winter, this should be placed in the black wheelie bin. However, when someone buys a pet they are responsible for its care. The council does not have a statutory duty to provide a service to dispose of animal waste.

Last Modified: 05/12/2018
For more information contact:

Call Torfaen

Tel: 01495 762200

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