PROPOSALS which could see Torfaen residents fined for placing recyclable items in with household waste are to be considered in a bid to boost the borough’s recycling rate.

Torfaen council’s cleaner communities overview and scrutiny committee will look over a report to develop its strategy to reach Welsh Government’s statutory targets today.

The local authority is aiming to have 64 per cent of waste reused, recycling or composted by 2019/2020, with up to 70 per cent by 2024/2025.

The report, written by Cynon Edwards, Torfaen’s group leader for strategic waste and operations, identifies a number of initial considerations to help achieve the increase.

“There are a number of activities that could be considered to encourage residents who currently do not recycle to participate in recycling schemes, such as: targeting awareness visits on residents who do not recycle waste that we have identified through participation monitoring and developing an enforcement policy where fines would be issued to households that place recyclable items in their purple lidded bins,” he says.

Additional plans include restricting “bagged residual waste to the Household Waste Recycling Site".

“The waste team has not yet developed plans or the resource and financial implications for these activities,” adds Mr Edwards.

“However, given the current financial situation in the council the proposals would be funded through a return on investment via avoided disposal costs.”

The council’s group leader for strategic waste and operations added that the introduction of the thinner and smaller capacity purple-lidded bins has helped the recycling rate rise to 63.6 per cent.

“The most recent significant change to the waste service from a user viewpoint is the introduction of skinny bins, which was completed in November 2015, serving to restrict residual capacity of refuse from the previous capacity of 240 litres to a reduced capacity of 140 litres,” Mr Edwards states in the report.

The most significant change was the introduction of skinny bin which helped increase recycling from 52.7 per cent in 2014-15 – the last full year prior to skinny bin – to 63.6 per cent in 2016-17 –the first full year following the rollout.

“The increase in recycling performance is to be welcomed and seen as a successful outcome, more stringent targets are on the horizon, so continued efforts in increasing this performance are needed," he adds.

The committee will meet at 1.30pm.