Torfaen Borough Council looks to boost recycling rates with ‘transfer station’

The Welsh local authority faced a public backlash after announcing a reduction in collections, which has now been put on hold. 

green trash can beside wooden fence

Torfaen Borough Council had outlined plans to cut recycling collections from fortnightly to three-weekly in a move it thought could help promote more effective household waste management, and ultimate improve engagement in recycling. 

However, the public response was largely negative, triggering a rethink of the proposal initially announced in 2023. Now not only will collections continue to take place every-other-week, a new recycling transfer station will be built at the council’s existing household recycling centre in New Inn, Pontypool. £132,000 of the authority’s reserve funds have been allocated to the project to cover the cost of appointing a project manager to oversee the development. 

It is believed that neglecting to introduce a transfer station which can sort and store recyclable waste had previously prevented rates of engagement from increasing, so the news has been welcomed by many living in the area. Nevertheless, some have raised concerns at the mounting costs, with £2million already allocated in 2022 to overhaul waste collection systems.

This is exacerbated by potential fines which will be incurred for missing targets. The law requites a 70% recycling rate in the current financial year, Torfaen Borough Council only recorded a 59% rate for 2022-2023. Figures for 2023-2024 have yet to be released. Overall, the local authority recorded an overspend of £1.26million in its directorate due to additional running costs associated with waste and recycling. This included the need to bring in additional vehicles and crews. 

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Image: Patricia Valério




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