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Recycling rollout has led to 'significant improvement'

The latest rollout of Cardiff's new ‘sack sort' recycling scheme, which included Rhiwbina and other parts of North Cardiff, has resulted in a significant improvement in the quality of recycling collected from homes, the city council has announced.

After running the scheme for six weeks, the latest household recycling figures show around 92% of waste collected through the new system can be recycled. Under the old mixed green bag system, which still operates in parts of the city, only 70% of material collected can be recycled.

A spokesperson for Cardiff Council said: "Residents are doing a brilliant job. Separating recyclables into different streams is leading to less contamination.

"The scheme is working and will help us get closer to achieving Welsh Government's recycling targets and will reduce the environmental impacts relating to the carbon emissions of producing new raw materials."

The ‘sack sort' system is Welsh Government's preferred way for local authorities to collect recycling from people's homes. It is designed to increase the quality of the city's recycling and to meet the recycling and composting targets that are set in law.

Cardiff's recycling and composting rate must reach 70% by 2025, and zero waste by 2050. The recycling rate in Cardiff - including all streams - is currently 62%.

47,000 properties in Cardiff now use this new system, and there are plans to roll the scheme out across Cardiff in 2024 to a further 80,000-plus homes.

To collect the ‘sack sort' recyclables, new waste vehicles are being used which have two separate chambers at the back. The recycling from the blue sack goes into one side of the vehicle and the recycling from the red sack into the other. A separate vehicle collects the glass jars and bottles.

There have been times when general waste vehicles have been used to collect these streams together. This happens when there have been issues with new vehicles.

However, the council has assured this does not affect the recycling, for two reasons:

1. Residents have already ensured that the recyclables being collected are of a high quality and the material collected in sacks/bottle bins is not being mixed with green bag recyclables.

2. They are being taken to the council's facility at Lamby Way, which separates the material by size and weight, delivering the same quality recyclables as those which would have been collected in the twin chambered vehicles.

The council is in the process of buying more of these vehicles as the rollout goes on.

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