The city council of Swansea in South Wales has become the first in the UK to issue fines for failure to recycle. Residents who are caught out putting recyclable materials such as paper, glass or plastic in their regular bin face fines of up to £100.
Strict Recycling Rules
The devolved Welsh government has introduced strict legislation on recycling and it is the council’s responsibility to see that the government targets are met. 58% of all waste must be recycled. At the end of April, this will rise to 64%. Conwy council responded by limiting regular bin collections to once a month. Swansea have introduced inspections and fines.
Implementation and Reaction
Swansea council have employed a team of people to check bin bags that are put out on the street for collection. Bags are not opened. The refuse workers can shake the bags and listen for the tell-tale clink of glass or rustle of paper. Repeat offenders are issued a fixed penalty notice fine of £100.
In an article about the introduction of the fines, the BBC quoted residents that see the inspections as an invasion of privacy. One said:
“I agree with recycling, I do agree with that. But they come around shaking bags. You can’t recycle everything!”
Wales is the only country within the UK that sets statutory waste and recycling targets, fining councils that do not meet targets. In England, where central government has a much lighter regulatory touch when it comes to waste, the recycling rate is increasing at a slower rate. In 2017 (the most recent year for which figures are available) England managed to recycle only 45.2% of its household waste.
Our Recycling Rates
At WT Skips, we recycle over 90% of the waste that we collect in our skips. If you have a big clear-out or you’re remodelling part of your home, hiring a skip could be the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of your waste.
Please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01493 668118 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.