RESIDENTS in Torfaen will be asked to check through the contents of their rubbish bags taken to the tip in a bid to increase recycling.

A new bag sorting policy is set to be introduced at the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) in New Inn as part of the council’s plans to reduce the amount of recyclable products sent for disposal.

Under the new scheme, which comes into affect on Monday, March 4, residents will be asked to take their mixed waste bags over to a sorting area, where the contents of the bags will be checked through and sorted in to recyclables and non-recyclables.

Several councils in Wales have already rolled out the scheme, resulting in a "significant reduction" in the amount of residual waste deposited, according to a council report.

Some have seen reductions of up to 95 per cent.

However, the report did warn the introduction of the policy may not be popular with residents initially, due to its intrusiveness.

Councillor Fiona Cross, executive member for the environment said: “Research by WRAP has found that 60 per cent of bagged waste in Torfaen can be easily recycled, this is one of the reasons why the new policy will be coming into place.

“By 2025 the council needs to reach the Welsh Government’s recycling target of 70 per cent, and if this target isn’t reached the council is at risk of fines of £100,000 for every one per cent it fails by. Reaching a recycling target of 70 per cent is going to be tough, so we all need to work together to achieve it.

“Using the kerbside recycling collection scheme as much as possible, and visiting the HWRC when the kerbside collection isn’t enough can help us reach 70 per cent.

“We appreciate that planning your visit to the HWRC will now take a little longer, which is why we’ve come up with some helpful tips.”

The new policy will mean that any mixed bagged waste brought to the HWRC intended for the non-recyclable waste skip will have to be taken to a designated bag sorting area.

A council report says that over the last two years there has been a 20 per cent increase in the amount of rubbish bags being taken to the centre.

But analysis has shown that some 70 per cent of the contents of these bags can be recycled at the site.

In order to increase that amount, the council recommends sorting your waste at home into recyclables and non-recyclables, and using the kerbside recycling scheme to recycle as much of your waste as possible.

This may mean you don’t even have to visit the HWRC after you’ve sorted through everything.

If you do need to take a trip to the HWRC, take a look at the site layout map to plan your visit – this will help you organise your boot when loading it up.

Make sure you are able to easily open any bagged waste ready for you visit to the HWRC

People who don’t want to open their bagged waste to be sorted at the HWRC will be asked to return home and will not be able to dispose of their waste.

The council are putting on information events about the new bag sorting policy throughout February.

Today (Wednesday), an event is being held between 10am and 3pm at Blaenavon Heritage Centre.

On Thursday, an information session will be held at Sainsburys in Cwmbran and on Friday there will be one at Tesco in Pontypool, both running from 10am until 3pm.

If you cannot make those events, another one will be held at Sainsburys in Cwmbran on February 21, and another one at Tesco in Pontypool the following day.

Again, these events will be between 10am and 3pm.