Changes to collections in Monmouthshire

UPDATE 03/06/2013


All the latest information on recycling can be found on our website in the recycling section.

Please read the recycling information over on our main website.


The following text was last edited 23/03/2013.

There will be some changes to the waste collection service in Monmouthshire over the next couple of months:

  • there will be a charge to collect garden waste
  • we will collect two bags of general waste from each household every fortnight
  • black bags will be replaced with clear bags

We understand that this is a major change and that you may have some questions. We hope that this blog helps to explain things.

Why are we making these changes?

Most people recognise the need to reduce the amount of rubbish we all produce. The environment depends on it. Yet, around 70% of rubbish chucked in black bags can be recycled. We shouldn’t be sending this stuff to landfill. We spend a massive £3 million a year on landfill. That’s a huge bill and we need to reduce it.

Making these changes will make us greener and save us money. Green waste is expensive to collect and can be treated at home.

Changes to collecting garden waste

From 1st July, our garden waste service will become a ‘pay to use service’ with households paying £8 per reusable bag. This cost includes weekly collection of garden waste for a year – that works out at roughly 15p per week. The reusable bags are weighted and made of a hardy canvas. From June, you can buy a bag online or over the phone and it will be delivered to you.

If you do not wish to use this service, you will still be able to take your garden waste to one of our recycling sites for free. You can also apply for a subsidised home composter by calling 01884 841515.

Changes to collecting general rubbish

From 1st July, we will collect two bags of general rubbish from each household every fortnight. We’re doing this so we can reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill and increase recycling. The previous black bags will be replaced by clear bags.

If five or more people live in your home, please contact us and let us know so we can give you more clear bags.

In June, a recycling information pack will be sent to your home. It will give you advice on how you can reduce waste and recycle more.

There are no changes to other recycling services (red and purple bags, food collections etc).

Rachel Jowitt; Waste Strategy Manager



  1. Green bag system will lead to dumping / incineration as garden waste is created occasionally and in bulk rather than weekly. 1 bag is highly insufficient and buying 10 bags to use just once or twice per year just won’t happen.

  2. I seriously hope this is an early April Fool’s joke. Waste collection is one of the most visible services that the council provides – and the level of service delivered is already unacceptable. Placing arbitrary limits on the amount of waste households may produce is ridiculous, and undermines the public’s faith in communal provision of services. I understand the need to control costs, but this should be achieved through tight control of salary and personnel costs rather than drastic cuts in key services. This will have only minimal impact on the amount of waste sent to landfill – and will actually have a negative impact on the environment. Instead of one relatively efficient vehicle collecting waste from hundreds of households – there will be hundreds of individual car journeys to the ‘recycling centres’ to dispose of the waste (garden and general) that has been produced.

    • This is a serious erosion of services that we all pay for decised upon in a way that indicates a lack of understanding of where it naturally leads. It is ill-thought out at best.

  3. Some kind of joke? I pay my council tax for you to provide a service not to dictate how much rubbish I can throw away.

  4. I pay counci tax on the size of my property I have large family (6 persons) so I am aloud the same amount of rubbish as someone living on there own in a 1 bed flat but my council tax is 5 x the price yes all makes sense NOT ….

  5. Is this ludicrous change to the policy one which has been voted on by councillors, and if so how can I get the voting record? Despite being careful to recycle everything we are able to, forcing a family of four including two children down to one bag per week is ridiculous, and forcing us to display our rubbish to all our neighbours offensive.

  6. Clear rubbish bags…. awful idea, the whole neighbourhood will know when us ladies have our period. And how demeaning for those who have continence issues to have it paraded outside your house for all to see. I think this may actually breach our right to privacy. What idiot thought that one up?

    • Have been on to MCC about this today and spoke with the very lovely Gareth who explained how it’s going to work. Lady bits can be put into a nappy sack or similar and put into the clear bag, which also can be in a plastic bin. If you create more waste such as baby nappies, or continence items then these can be put into a black bag, and are collected weekly, if you have the orange stickers. You can get these from the one stop shop or can be sent to you if ordered over the phone or online. Anger now very much died down and retract my thinking that an idiot thought this one up.

  7. We pay £125 per month for council tax, which includes the cost of collecting refuse, now you are asking us to pay even more and you and going to collect even less!! We recycle but still end up with more than two black bags of refuse. You say that black bags will be replaced with clear bags, which MCC are going to supply, your on about saving money but how much is that going to cost to supply the whole of Monmouthshire with clear bags?

    We have had to buy numerous green waste bags in the past due to refuse collectors not returning them to the correct household, and they are £1 each to have to replace bags which cost eight times as much would be totally unacceptable. How is this charged and how do the collectors know who has paid, what if I paid and my neighbour didn’t but still put out bags?

    Instead of looking to make cutbacks on the public who are already paying more than enough council tax, why not try looking within the MCC to reduce spending but getting rid of the people who are not actually needed but jobs are made for them anyway, and what about the reported 8 million pounds to build new MCC premises, who is paying for that, THE TAXPAYERS AGAIN!!!

  8. How many garden bags can we have? What happens if you make more than two bags of refuse? Do we need to leave the refuse outside our front door? People on our street all put their rubbish in the same place – what if someone puts their extra bags with yours after you have left for the day?

  9. If we are now having to pay for some of our rubbish to be collected are we going to get a reduction in our Council Tax which is the exorbitant amount of money we pay each month for such services!

  10. This is a poorly thought out strategy! There are 5 of us in our household , we recycle pretty much everything, and still have 3 bin bags per fortnight! I agree that people will dump or incinerate their green waste!

  11. I forsee lots of garden bonfires or worse dumping. At present I buy my black bags from Wilko’s/Tesco etc, does this mean the county be spending on supplying every household with clear bags? Also not sure how the two bag rule for general waste will be monitored in certain situations e.g I live in a lane and all residents take their bags to the main road.

  12. Outrageous. This will certainly lead to more pollution – not less – in that people will start burning rubbish in their gardens again. Also, (we don’t have black bags free any way and you are still supposed to be emptying dustbins) I certainly think it is taking liberties expecting households to have their waste displayed in clear bags. What a nerve, what an invasion of my privacy.
    Money is short (haven’t you heard, there’s a Recession) and people are already having to pay to dispose of all kinds of household items. Where will this end?

  13. Sorry, but what exactly am I paying 2k in council tax for?? Absolute, catastrophic, joke.

    Think about it….Green waste is composted so shouldn’t count as landfill. Also, by charging for green waste, you are going to increase fly tipping, which will lead to the spread of things such as japanese knotweed etc.This council is so focused on getting more money out of it’s constituents, it’s crazy. How about you put a limit on how many charity shops can open in a town, so you’ll have thriving towns with decent shops who pay business rates? £3million isn’t that much for waste management for the entire county, try saving a bit from your internal pay structure, I’m sure it’ll be much more successful. You’ll end up spending much more on the clear up of said fly tipping.

    As for black bin waste, 2 bags per fortnight is crazy. Haven’t you got children? With just 2 of us in my house, I more often than not put 3-4 bags out, and I recycle thoroughly 99% of the time. What about families with more than one child. We are going to end up with rubbish dumps in the street. Not all families can drive so how are they meant to transport extra waste to the tip? What happens when animals break into bags? Will you clear up the mess? Because I’m not going to waste my ‘precious clear bags’ if I’m only allocated 2 per fortnight!

    I would love to know which bright spark thought up this plan, it’s completely blinkered. Try asking your communities what their ideas could be for waste management? How about endorsing and supporting movements such as freecycle.

    When I called the hospital to offer my sons unused toys, they said they couldn’t take them because of health and safety. Guess where they ended up? Landfill….

  14. I don’t believe much thought has gone into this. One bag of rubbish per week is not very much if you have a family. No doubt you have made cutbacks in this service, but are probably employing more people in the office to implement this. Was wondering if you have done any surveys in the area to see what the public think? You will probably find fly tipping increases when this comes into operation. Yet another example of the way most councils seem to operate these days. They seem to want to waste money on things like carbon neutral officers or ‘green’ officers, but essential services like this are being used to leverage more money from householders.

  15. My family comprises of four people. We separate all of our rubbish and use the the food waste bin as well as separating our cardboard, plastic and cans etc. Due to fortnightly collection we still generate more than two black bags of general waste each week due to items that are not recylable. I agree that you should dispose of refuge correctly, but my family is currently doing every we can and I cant see how we can do anymore to reduce our general collection waste to two black bags a fortnight! I already act in a responsible manner in relation to our household waste. I pay my council tax bill without fail and yet I have to provide myself with bins, which residents of Torfaen and Newport are provided with. This is an absolute joke and I will be raising this issue with the local mp.

  16. This is totally crazy and uncalled for!! I live in street where all the bin bags are put in one pile, how do you intend to find out which one of us has sneaked an extra bag out? I presume it will get left behind to then sit on the side of the road for another 2 weeks while no one reclaims it? What about the privacy of being able to bin sanitary products and other potential health related rubbish that I may not want being proudly on display through my bin bags!!!! Are you honestly telling me that as a house of 2 adults and 2 children I am expected to only produce 1 bag of rubbish per week? Ridiculous! I often have to spend the first few minutes on my return home on a green bin day trying to find my green bin bags that have been left on the road and blown away. How can you guarantee that my £8 bag is not going to end up the same? Or a neighbour decides to keep it?
    This will end up with rubbish being dumped in laybys and roadsides and more people taking potentially recyclable waste to the tip themselves rather than pay £8 per bag.
    I would love to know which members of the community you have consulted about this. Most people recycle, you can see that by the number of bags outside houses etc. there comes a point when you have to put some things in a bin! please show some common sense!!

    Ps. If I go on holiday for 2 weeks do I get to roll over my bin allowance or donate it to my neighbour?? How petty and ridiculous this all is!

  17. So clear bags means that used sanitary wear will be on show for all the street to see! We are to have no privacy. Disgusting!!!

  18. I recycle as much as I possibly can, but still have on average 2 – 3 black bags per week. If the council will only collect 2 per fortnight, I am convinced this will lead to an increase of fly tipping & litter dumped in our countryside. What about the elderly or people who don’t drive, they can not take it to a waste centre.

  19. I put a bin out not bags for my fortnightly collection will i now not be able to do this?

  20. Disgraceful, charging – I thought part of our Council tax was for waste collection. I expect to see bonfires and fly tipped shrubbery all across the county!

  21. I agree with Dean. Green waste happens occasionally and is usually very bulky when it does happen. I shred and compost my green waste, but not everyone has this option, or would want to do it if they’re not gardeners. This needs re-thinking.

  22. I am appalled by this latest initiative, I fully supported the move to fortnightly black bag collection as you provided a superb recycling service. But to now charge for the garden waste collection is bordering fraud. You take my council tax, which I consider more than covers you to take my waste away. Why don’t you sell back the composted material, taht is a more sensible idea, than charging to take it and dump it.

  23. Crass stupidity would I expect less? 2 bags is ridiculously too little. How on earth is this going to be policed? What stops anyone putting their rubbish with yours. Or dumping it and then the council then has a duty to clear up at extra cost. How does it work for flats or if your away on collection day? This is ill thought out as usual. We don’t all work 9-5 or have the luxury of flexi time or home working unlike the council. Already public bins are over flowing. What are we paying £2400 a year for? This council is completely out of touch. Already with 2weekly collection we and very many others have to go to the tip weekly so how is that green all those miles to the tip? How is rubbish all over the county a good thing?

  24. 1 Why clear bags? Are the collection police going to refuse to collect if we have recyclable waste in the general bag?

  25. I see loads of garden bonfires this summer!! much cheaper than paying to get rid of natural totally degradable garden waste!!

  26. I’ve asked at the One Stop but they don’t know anything. I have 4 women in my house. Am I meant to put sanitary towels, along with catheters in clear bags, on THE HIGH STREET for everyone to see?

  27. How are you going to police this? we live in a cul-de sac all the bags are put in a heap how are you/we going to know who has put what out? what about wheelie bins?

  28. we have quite a big garden and frequently use 5 green bags per week! This means its will cost me about £40 to buy the bags in the first place. Who will replace the bags when the collection teams leave them to blow away in the wind! this has happened to us on more than one occasion. I think this will lead to much my fly tipping. Is this the first step to charging us for other rubbish / recycling collection? And we have never had black bags from the council – we have always use a bin – will this change?

  29. I use a kitchen bin with a plastic bag loiner, will I be able to put these into the clear bags whole? Or, will I have to empty my kitchen bags into the clear plastic bags? Also, I use a wheelie bin to prevent the crows, magpies and foxes from tearing bin bags apart, will I still be able to use the wheelie bin?

  30. Clear bags for rubbish are disgusting! What about feminine hygiene waste? I don’t want that on show in a clear bag. Apart from the fact that seeing such waste is revolting it would result in women losing their right to privacy and dignity!

  31. i think the idea of just 1 bag for garden waste will not work. Anyone with a large garden creates a lot of rubbish,so to limit them will result in a lot of fly tipping of large items of garden waste, also households with their household waste the same will apply with rubbish thrown anywhere. We may notice of a lot more garden fires burning away ,which is breaking the law, to say nothing of the nuisance to the neighbours

  32. Will lead to fly tipping and people dumping there clear bags outside other people’s properties. What a joke. Clearly not been thought through and is about cost cutting rather than the environment. Large families will suffer the most.

  33. Really disappointed by this move! Totally agree with Dean above, sadly I will just have to burn most of my garden waste, what a shame. As for the reduction in general waste collection, surely the move to fortnightly collections was made to encourage recycling, this is not an environmental move it is just being made to cut costs and being dressed up as a green initiative. £3m on landfill is an impressively low figure, not a high one.
    My wife & I really struggle to recycle everything we can and with two toddlers we create 2 or 3 bags of recycling each week as well as a full food bin. We will just about be able to manage with two bags of general waste a fortnight, as long as we never have people over or family to stay!
    Our waste is occasionally left uncollected, presumably we will have to take it down the tip as they will not rectify their mistake 2 weeks later!
    Finally, with two in nappies or at least pull-ups, will the nappy collection be affected?

  34. I really dont know what we pay Council tax for nowadays rubbish will now appear all over the county..where in the past we have had a very good system that kept the countryside clean I think there are too many people in County Hall with nothing to do but try to impress the boss that they are worthwhile to the answer to this proposal is ” Rubbish “

  35. Why can’t we have wheelie bins and get rid of the rancid black bags all together I hate even touching them its archaic and un-hygienic and after two weeks in the summer they are stinking

    • In reply to Alec
      Your black bags wouldn’t be stinking if you put your food waste where you are suppost to put it – in the food waste bin! Think you’re missing the point of what everyone else in Monmouthshire is upset about.

  36. Why is the council wasting money providing us with clear bags? Why can’t we just be restricted to 2 black bags? There is no need to provide bags to residents. Clear bags are just an excuse for the council to snoop into our rubbish. I do not want my used sanitary products on show to the whole street. I don’t tell my neighbours when i have my period so why would i want them seeing my used products. Likewise i don’t want my teenage son seeing these items. I expect to be able to dispose of these items in privacy – that means in a black bag that is not see through! Surely forcing me to dispose of such items in a clear bag is a breach of my human rights. You need to rethink this poorly thought out plan immediately

  37. Well I can see a lot of support here but where are all the others I have spoken to who think that this new system is nuts and thought up by someone with absolutely no idea what it is like to run a home ..We pay rates to get over the problem of having to dispose of our own rubbish that is the deal you take the rates (put them up if you need a bit more ) and you dispose of the rubbish…you may well want to waste money on supplying see through bags but we will only fill a black bag and the pop it in the see through duh! ..Come on now Monmouthshire You hotbed of Tory thinking do a David Cameron and ditch this one now won’t work

  38. Would just like to know why mon council make us use two separate recycling bags then throw them together into the same bin lorry they collected the black bags with the day before and then crush them?

  39. You had a consultation over this years budget and you stated that a green bag charge would not immediately come in. You also said there would be no council tax rise. So, you withdraw the current service – a cut, then introduce a charge for a new service. Either someone misled the public regarding the consultation, or you misled them regarding no tax rises. Misinforming the public is probably the bigger issue here.
    How are going to address all the properties with or near trees with preservation orders? The council does not come and clear up the green waste from these.

  40. If the people in this section of the council are anywhere near as gormless and idiotic as the people I have had to deal with in my line of work, then it’s no surprise that this sort of thing is being attempted. It’s classic “weekend course in environment saving” logic, that misses the point entirely, like the whole fuel tax debacle. It wont make a damn bit of difference to the big picture of pollution and global warming. Like most other half-hearted attempts, this is a complete waste of time based on false logic and a laughably naive approach to this subject.

  41. what’s the clear bags for?
    will the refuse men not take the bag if a stray carrier bag or tin ends up in the clear bag?
    Mine will sit on the street and rot in this case because I’m not going through them to take it out, I have a 2 and 8 year old they don’t care where it goes it just gets binned.
    Shouldn’t the council tax money go towards solving the problems of waste not restrict the payer?
    Its not our fault councils have just landfilled it for years you should have used council tax money to recycle not force us into it.
    I have had a reply about wheelie bins ” It will cost thousands to adapt the refuse trucks to except wheelie bins” ?
    Use the council tax money then :o)

  42. You say the bags will now be silver, and the same grade as the red and purple sacks. Our red sacks no longer hold newspaper, but tear apart, so we have to use two per week when we used to use only one and frequently put one of those into yet another when it rips. Bags left out overnight will be ripped to pieces by cats and foxes and very few people can get up early enough to put them out before 7.00. What size will they be – the same small size as the red and purple? The red sacks are totally unfit for purpose.

    • Not one person has asked what happens to the revenue the council make from recycling the current collections. I bet it far outweighs the cost of collection, sorting and processing etc. I maybe missing something and you may call me cynical but I think this has more to do with saving on costs and increasing revenue than doing the right thing for enviromental reasons.

  43. This is symptomatic of the waste policy in Wales, each council has its own strategy to meet its objectives and there is no joined up thinking. The councils in Wales are just too small to go their separate ways on this type of thing. Despite recycling everything we can, our household is still left with items that tend to be bulkier, usually packaging, that will not compact, making extremely difficult to meet the two bag limit. As for the garden waste, well we all know that this new strategy is due to the demise of Wormtech, a company that Mon CC decided to put all their faith in many years ago. What an error of judgement. Most garden waste consists of grass clippings which, as most people know, can not be composted in any quantity even if you have room for a compost bin in your garden. Therefore expect to see more and more ‘fly-tipping’. No one in Mon CC will listen to our complaints this is a done deal and they don’t really care anyway.

  44. Will the reusable garden waste bags be fitted with GPS trackers to enable the rightful owners to recover them when they are stolen or blown away by the wind?
    I have lost several of the existing green bags even though I have had my address written on them. Two bags actually turned up a few months later; in the meantime they were probably used by someone else.
    Has this been thoroughly thought through? I would be very annoyed to loose bags for which I had paid £8. It seems like I will need a new car with greater carrying capacity such that I can take the waste to the skips – more pollution.

  45. I understand the need to control recycling but I draw the line at paying for green waste collection – I pay a hefty £250 a month council tax for little to no facilities in our area apart from rubbish collection and now I have to pay extra for that? Rubbish (no pun intended)

  46. 2 bags of waste per fortnight is ridiculous for a 5 person household and will lead to dumping of waste in car parks, leisure centres, public bins, which leads to rats etc. And in some neighbourhoods, we may well find bags mysteriously appearing overnight outside neighbours doors. I’m all for encouraging recycling, but there needs to be some thought put into number of people per household.

    Also, what happens if you live in a street where, due to layout of houses, we all have to put our bin bags in one pile together? How do you know who put 2 and who put 10?

    And now I’ve just read about the garden waste and am amazed at how badly this has been thought through. We aren’t avid gardeners but during the Summer/Autumn we’ll have the odd week where we’ll get it done and have numerous bags. We’re not going to pay £8 per bag (needing about 6) for that one week! So we’ll see an increase in people burning garden waste – nice. And what happens to the old green canvas bags…. guessing they can’t be recycled.

    This is so typical of the Council – not thinking things through. I can’t believe we pay these people. Surely this is going to be looked at again?

    • This Council listen to reason! No………… it’s probably cost a lot of money to get consultants in to come up with this idea, that anyone can see won’t work, but MCC are sticking to it regardless. why ask what the people paying the rates think, they might tell you!

    • No doubt we will get an invoice for £10 per bag (is there a green bag price escalator?)

  47. they will self destruct after all your neighbours see what you’ve been eating for two weeks and see whether you use panty liners tampax or condoms!

  48. Good see that mcc have not responded to any of the comments from their residents on their web site. Is silence putting their accumalitive heads in the sand?

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