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Recycling boost with 'keep it out' campaign in Swansea

Residents in Swansea are getting on board with a new recycling initiative aimed at stopping recyclable waste being put in black bags.

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Swansea Council launched its 'keep it out' campaign in February, targeting households who are either limited recyclers or don't recycle at all.

The 'Keep it out' initiative involves council waste officers checking black bags that are left on the street for collections. If food, bottles, cans and other recyclable materials are detected, the households will be given advice from the Council's Recycling Promotion Team who will visit the property.

If repeated attempts to get households on board with recycling fail, fixed penalty notices can be issued under existing legislation.

The early success with households has led to an extra 40 tonnes of recyclable waste being collected during a fortnight compared to previous collections.

During the first month of the scheme, 20,000 households were monitored and around 15% were found to either not be recycling or recycling very little. An initial letter was issued to non-recyclers explaining how they can get on board.

 

Hundreds of households have now been officially thanked for their participation after follow-up visits found seven out of ten homes offered support started or improved recycling on the next visit.

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure Management, said: "The response we have had during the first month has been fantastic. Many of the households we have been in touch with were doing very little in terms of recycling or nothing at all.

"Our aim has been to dispel some of the myths around why some residents didn't recycle. The fact that three quarters of those we contacted started recycling on their next collection is a real success. All those households have received a letter thanking them for their efforts."

A number of homes failed to respond to the initial letter or follow-up visits and has resulted in 26 households receiving a final letter, warning them they could be issued with a fixed penalty notice.

Cllr Thomas added: "Our aim is to get all households doing their bit and recycle their household waste. Issuing fixed penalties is a last resort and we would rather residents got on board. The biggest cost to the authority and the environment is landfill, so we are keen to do what we can to reduce the amount of black bag waste we send to landfill each week."

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