Raise the Rate FAQs

We answer your questions about the new campaign to increase household recycling to 70 per cent.

Why did you end the consultation on reducing residual collections early?

The decision was made by the Council Leader and Executive Member for Environment in response to concerns about the proposals to reduce residual waste collections to three or four-weekly. The proposals were part of a suite of measures to increase household recycling rates in Torfaen to 70 per cent by 2025, in line with the new Welsh Government target. However, alternative approaches will now be considered to increase household rates. You can watch a video message from Council Leader Anthony Hunt here.

Does that mean purple-lidded bin collections will remain fortnightly? 

Yes, purple-lidded bin collections will remain fortnightly while a campaign to increase household recycling rates is underway. But Council Leader Anthony Hunt has said systemic changes may still be considered next year if rates do not increase.

What will the Raise the Rate campaign involve?

The campaign will aim to increase household recycling rates without making any systemic changes. It will include increased public information and education about what can be recycled in Torfaen, improvements to the recycling service and increased recycling support for residents who live in flats.  It will also be informed by suggestions made by residents during the waste changes consultation and a new public survey, which will be launched in May.

How much do recycling rates need to increase? 

Household recycling rates in Torfaen are around 62 per cent and they need to increase to 70 per cent by 2025. The Raise the Rate campaign will aim to increase household recycling by as much as possible to see if 70 per cent can be achieved by service improvements and increased household recycling.   

What will happen if we miss the 70 per cent recycling target?

All local authorities in Wales must recycle at least 70 per cent of rubbish by 2025 or face fines. In Torfaen, we could be faced £100,000 for every percentage point missed which would impact on council services. 

Why don’t you just fine people who don’t recycle?

We are looking at introducing a new policy of education and enforcement, which will be considered by councillors this summer. The emphasis of the Raise the Rate campaign will be on educating and supporting residents and communities to make the changes needed.  

What are you doing to reduce the number of missed recycling collections?

We have purchased a new fleet of 19 recycling vehicles, and we are investing in new in-cab technology, so if an area has been missed a team can be sent straight away.

We are also training team leaders to monitor performance, such as making sure all bins are collected and receptacles are returned to properties with care.

Residents can help us by ensuring bins and recycling are left at the kerbside before 7am on collection days. Separating plastic and tins from glass and paper also helps, as does squashing cardboard down into the blue bags and closing the lid.

Why don’t you collect since use plastic?

We are focusing on encouraging people to recycle the materials we already collect at the kerbside.

However, we are working with Capital Valley Plastics, based in Cwmavon, to provide single use plastic collection points across the borough, including in schools. Fnd your nearest drop off point on our website.

What are you doing to encourage businesses to recycle?

The Welsh Government is introducing new regulations that will require all businesses, the public sector and third sector organisations in Wales to separate recyclable materials in the same way that most householders do now. They are consulting on the proposed changes.

Trade waste recycling is not included in the Welsh Government target – the 70 per cent recycling target only includes domestic recycling. 

I don’t like the idea of recycling food waste – will I get fined?  

Currently nearly half of households do not recycle food waste, so we need to encourage more people to recycle food waste if we are to reach the 70 per cent target by 2025. 

Food waste is collected from the kerbside weekly and you can collect free kitchen caddy liners to reduce the risk of smells. You can also use single use plastic bags like bread bags.  The kerbside caddies are lockable to prevent problems with rodents and insects. 

Composting is also a great way of dealing with food waste. You can find out more information on our website.

I live in a flat that doesn’t have recycling collections – what can I do? 

We are working closely with registered social landlords to provide recycling facilities in flats. 

Around half of flats in Torfaen now have recycling facilities, but if yours doesn’t, please contact your landlord.

Last Modified: 27/04/2023
For more information contact:

Call Torfaen

Tel: 01495 762200

Email: streetscene@torfaen.gov.uk

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