EU directive could put end to mixed collections in Wales

August 16, 2012 at 10:04 am

A new EU directive could mean that many councils in Wales will have to stop operating single-bag recycling collections in 2015.

About half of the councils in Wales currently operate single-bag collections – also known as co-mingling – where residents put all of their waste to be recycled into one bag and the council then sorts it.

However, the new directive states that this practice will have to stop and that instead residents will have to separate the waste to be recycled themselves.

The major problem with this is that many of the councils have invested heavily in sorting facilities which will effectively become redundant if the sorting is carried out by residents instead.

On top of this, the councils will have to invest more money in new vehicles which are capable of carrying out kerb-side collections.

Additionally, many councils currently receive grants from the Welsh government to help with their recycling. However, if they do not follow the directives then they will not be able to get access to this money.

Despite the concerns, others have welcomed the directive saying that co-mingling is not effective and that items that should be recycled often end up being wasted due to being damaged or dirty.

Wales has very impressive recycling levels and some of the most ambitious targets in Europe. Its current recycling rate is nearly 50% and it has a target of 70% by 2025.

There are fears that these targets may be affected if all residents have to start sorting out their own recycling.

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5 responses to “EU directive could put end to mixed collections in Wales”

  1. Nicola says:

    This is disappointing – as a resident of Wales, I find it so much easier to recycle with the single bags. If waste materials ending up in the green bags is a problem, then education (and not over-legislation) is the answer…

  2. Mick Partridge says:

    Parts of England also employ this method. Are there such schemes in Scotand and Ireland?
    Why does the EU have any say in this? The sooner Parliament take back control from this oversized bureauracy the better.

  3. Joey Williams says:

    I personally think it is a shame that its is assumed people wont recycle as much if they can’t just dump everything into one bag! It’s really not that hard to have 2 or 3 different containers and to sort the recycling out as you use the products.

  4. John Frankland says:

    It is a sad fact but if you make something more difficult, time consuming or onerous, people simply won’t do it. They will find a way round it. Recycling into a single bag is simpler, quicker and easier so people don’t mind doing it. Make them sort their waste themselves and less will comply.

    What about those who live in flats and cannot keep several different bags outside their back door? They will all have to be stored inside the flat, probably in the kitchen. it is not really practical to keep half a dozen different waste bins or bags in your kitchen all the time.