The way household rubbish is collected in different parts of Cardiff looks set to get a major overhaul as part of the latest drive to improve recycling.
The capital’s environment boss revealed a new waste collection strategy will be published early next year, saying the current “one size fits all” system doesn’t work.
The announcement by Councillor Ashley Govier, cabinet member for the environment, comes just 15 months after the last shake-up of the capital’s waste collection regime.
Changes last year by the previous Liberal Democrat/Plaid Cymru administration saw the introduction of fortnightly black bag and weekly food scrap collections.
According to figures published by the Welsh Government last week, Cardiff’s recycling rate stood at 51.2% for 2011/12 – an increase of almost 10% on the previous year.
But Coun Govier said the previous administration had “played it very politically safe” and the current strategy failed to focus on the quality of the “end product” being sold.
A depressed market and questions over the quality of materials being sold by Cardiff means the council is now facing a £500,000 shortfall on the amount it planned to raise from recycling.
“The strategy needs to be completely revamped – we need to look at what product they want us to produce to get the best price. Incredibly, we are almost £500,000 below where we should be,” Coun Govier said.
The Welsh Government, he said, was pushing the council to introduce kerbside sorting, which could mean residents are asked to put glass, paper, plastic and tins – currently all collected in a single bag – in separate bags or boxes.
Coun Govier said this may not be possible for everywhere in Cardiff and he was trying to find a “middle ground” by tailoring waste collections to different types of properties and different parts of the city.
“I would like to look at how we can start (kerbside) separating, where we can do this and what type of products,” Coun Govier said.
A survey is also being carried out of bin facilities at every apartment block in the capital, where Coun Govier said recycling rates were particularly poor.
Areas of high density, such as Cathays and Plasnewydd (Roath), could be targeted with a new approaches.
Once the new strategy is published in the new year, trials of new collection systems will be carried out in the summer.