MORE than 1,000 people have taken part in a controversial online Torfaen bin consultation, with residents saying that now is the time for the council to improve recycling provision.
Torfaen council is undertaking a review of its black bin collections and held an online consultation between June 2 and June 30, which received 1,481 responses from residents who gave their opinions on three options put forward as a way to reach recycling targets set by the Welsh Government, which will increase to 58% in 2015/16.
Torfaen council currently recycles 52% of its waste, it will face fines in the region of £100,000 for every 1% it falls below these targets.
But residents have warned that an increase in fly-tipping is likely unless recycling provisions improve.
Cwmbran homeowner, Colin Madge, who found dumped recyclable material near Fairwater Shops recently, said: “Having one recycling centre for the whole borough is not sufficient. People’s houses are not designed to store lots of recycling, so there needs to be more collections. People will just dump it.”
Blaenavon resident Jan Reed added: “It is a 14-mile round trip for people to travel from Blaenavon to the recycling centre in New Inn.”
The consultation found that an overwhelming 79% of respondents preferred option A — to maintain a fortnightly collection but with a 140 litre wheelie bin, instead of the current 240 litre one.
Option B, a fortnightly collection of two refuse bags per household, was preferred by 7% of people, and option C, a monthly collection using the existing 240 litre black wheelie bin, preferred by 13% of people.
Option A would result in an annual saving of £78,000, but purchasing the smaller bins would cost the council £754,000 to purchase the smaller bins.
Only 2% of people said that they didn’t recycle, while 96% said they use the black boxes, 89% use cardboard recycling, 88% use green waste and 77% use the food caddy.
But 760 people signed a petition, set up by Barry Jones from New Inn, calling for the council to enter into consultation with residents with no pre-set options.
Barry Jones, who set up and has submitted the petition to the council, said: “The council require a councillor to support the petition for them to recognise it. Surprisingly, no councillor would.”
A Torfaen spokesman said: “We have significantly increased our recycling facilities in Torfaen and the bulk of the waste produced by the average household can all be recycled weekly at the kerbside.
“We are also expanding and improving our household waste recycling centre in New Inn to increase its size and the range of materials that can be recycled, and this should be fully operational in early 2015.”