Info on waste bags and help to get used to new arrangements

UPDATE 03/06/2013

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

Please click here to visit the recycling web page.

The following text was last edited 28/03/2013

Thank you to everyone who has commented here on the blog and on Twitter and Facebook. Much of what you told us was that you are against these changes, but we believe they are being made for the right reasons.  As long as comments abide by our comment guidelines they’re published.

Here is a summary of what will happen with recycling and waste in Monmouthshire from July 2013.

Changes to the bags:

We understand the concerns people have voiced about privacy so we are going to provide bags of a similar grade and opacity to the red and purple recycling bags but without any colour pigment (the bags appear silver in finish without colour pigmentation).

If you’re still concerned about your privacy, you can wrap up items so they remain unseen.

There has been some confusion about how this will work and whether people will need to put loose rubbish in these bags.

Rubbish doesn’t need to be loose in the bags.  We know a lot of people already use bin liners and put these in black bags – this practice can continue.  All we want is for the recycling that might have gone into those bin liners or black bags to go into the red and purple bags or the food into the caddy.

Any sensitive waste can be wrapped – that is fine.  And if special collections or arrangements are needed then please contact us and we will do all we can to assist you.

Two bags:

We will continue with plans to restrict the amount of bags for waste collection that we collect to two bags per household every fortnight. Our weekly collection of your recycling is still unlimited.

Limiting the volume of rubbish that a household may put out for collection to two bags every fortnight will be challenging for some households but we also know that 70% of what is in the black bags is recyclable – 34% is food waste and we collect that weekly.

We know you will need time to settle into these new arrangements.

We will not be leaving rubbish on the streets but after a reasonable settling in period we will visit people who are struggling to meet the two bag limit per fortnight limit. In exceptional circumstances – for instance if you have many people in your household  – people may be allowed to use more than two bags.

This is not just about increasing reusing and recycling materials, it also makes financial sense. Materials recycled through the red and purple bags are processed free of charge; every tonne of rubbish that goes to landfill costs us £122.

Limiting the amount of rubbish that households may put out is not particularly new – some authorities have been doing this for years. If all residents could help us achieve this the cost of waste disposal for Monmouthshire could go down by £1m every year.

Garden waste:

We will continue with our new charge for garden waste collection. The charge will be small – working out at around 15p per week.

The reason for this is that it is really expensive to collect and treat green waste and it is possible for residents to compost their green waste themselves.  Most people do not have huge amounts of green waste to dispose of all year around – but if and when you do have garden waste you can bring it to a recycling centre,  or compost it.

From the summer if you want a kerbside collection then you will need to register and pay for the service so a new brown bag with a permit will be delivered to you.

We’ll make the process as simple as possible.

A promise:

Council tax hasn’t increased and we still have to deliver services to vulnerable people, businesses, young people and keep things like our roads, schools and parks working and clean.

We are asking residents to please help us recycle more but we do understand that these kind of changes can be frustrating to get used to.

We promise we will do all we can to make the changes as smooth as possible and we will help as much as we can with information and assistance while we all get used to the adjustments to the service.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Related post: ‘I’ve seen recycling teams mixing red and purple recycling bags together: why are we asked to separate them?’



  1. Well what a load of old rubbish,
    “Much of what you told us was that you are against these changes, but we believe they are being made for the right reasons”
    But we don’t listen to the public and what we say is what we’ll do.

    • This is absolutely unacceptable – i pay enough as it is and of course i won’t pay for garden rubbish collection. Do these bureacrats not understand cause and effect? Stop the collection of garden rubbish and we will all revert to bonfires.

      And as to clear rubbish sacks and the stupid quota – this is so out of touch as to be unreal. I dont want to see what others put in their rubbish and consider please what we all put there – this is big brother gone mad – this is not a service that we expect. Time for a change of council asap.

      Yours totally discusted

  2. I shall continue to use BLACK bin bags and I shall then put my black bag of rubbish into your CLEAR bag. One question – what exactly happens to the bags of red and purple rubbish once you have collected them ? Where do you take these bags exactly ? I would like to know what happens after we householders have done what we have been asked to do ?

  3. what happens if people put 2 bags out , then someone from another house or area dumps more by yours ?

  4. At last we have a voice explaining the collections in a universal language. Reading through this latest information, yes, i can see the logic behind these alterations, especially the amount of food waste that is being thrown into the black bags at present. If a lady correspondent, on Facebook, with a family, can limit her bags of waste to 2 bags per collection, then we should make better efforts with our waste in the future. LET US HAVE LESS LANDFILL.

  5. So this is a case of we have decided and you will comply and we don’t care what anyone thinks because we are mcc and can enforce this pointless change. The council needs to remember that we are the people that pay them. Tgey are here to provide us with services. We already recycle for free. Every week i sort into red and purple bags. No thanks for doing it. I will be putting my rubbish in black sacks and then it can go into the clear bags as i do not want my rubbish on public display. Where we live 4 houses put rubbish together. How will you know who puts out extra rubbish?

  6. so if ppl can not afford an extra charge for garden recycling.. green waste to be collected… and cant drive to get to the skips… does that mean they can stop cutting their grass areas…. and let the gardens overgrow….. cause im sure that if that happens you will be first to call about looking after gardens. And i would recycle more… if my food bins would stop being chucked on the ground by YOUR collectors and they get broken… or being left on a windy day to blow down the street after the rubbish has been collected … if they stop being stolen from outside my house i have not replaced them as they just keep getting broken or stolen all the time (and yes they have been marked with my address)…. also i find it hard to store all the recycling after i have sorted it…. loads of bags all over the place for different things… how can i make it more streamlined? have you seen the cost of the special bins with three compartments….. would love some ideas for storage that dont cost the earth.. that is managable in a small area with a household of 5 ppl…..

  7. You have totally missed the point (as usual). The issue is not the number of bags it is that the bags are going to be clear. I have no issue with only having two bags of rubbish a fortnight. That is what we put out anyway and we are a family of four plus dog. The issue is with putting my rubbish in a clear bag for all and sundry to see. You say we can still use bin liners in internal bins. These are now so thin that everything in the liner can be seen. Therefore to naintain privacy at least two or three liners will need to be used on each bin. How will that help the environment? The only reason for you to enforce clear bags is so that you can snoop in our rubbish. Why do you want to do that? What are you looking for? Also how can the council afford to supply every household with bags? There is obviously much more to this change than you are telling us.

  8. Your current green waste scheme allows me to have 5 green sacks. So withdrawal of that service is not 15p per week.
    If green waste is deemed seasonal why not mirror what many other councils do – stop the collection in the winter?
    How many registrations are you going to need to ensure that green waste collection is viable?
    How are you going to check permits when green waste is put out en mass by households sharing a joint/private road?
    Why should a tax payer have to pay for green waste that is caused by your council tree preservation orders, or by business both public and private who do not maintain their grounds and so waste is deposited on individual households?

  9. ok what happens when the cats the palgue my garden.. rip open my bag.. and i have used two for that fornight.. and i have to make my roll of bags last me… do i leave the rubbish where it is? i have before now found a cat inside one of my closed bins (no idea how it got there) and it had ripped open the liner inside…. can we acess extra bags.. as long as we put no more then two out?… also what happens when the green waste bag goes flying off down the road after being collected… do we have to pay £8 for every new one?……. cause that will get very expensive very quickly.. with respect to teh bin collecters.. if no one is home (workers) and neighbours are often not home…. the bags just fly off down the road, and i cant afford £8 for each bag…

  10. Bit confused how this new buy a bag for eight pounds for green garden put out three bags came home to find only one left the other two nowhere to be seen!! So these new bags will they have a barcode or something to say its mine!!! If not this is going to be a very costly exercise!!!

  11. Re your green waste collection scheme. Once you have sold your permits what are you going to do to ensure your collection employees ensure that the bags (&permits attached) are returned securely to the appropriate householders once emptied? Currently they drop them without care and especially during windy periods they migrate and often never recovered!

    When they were simply paid for and used this was not an issue, however now they are your annual payment you have a duty to ensure they are appropriately handled! What is your plan for this and what are your liabilities for recompensing householdes who have to replace following your employees negligent handling?

  12. I understand the issues, but limiting rubbish collection to two bags per fortnight is NOT going to work. Our house hold (two adults and a baby) currently puts out 5 bin bags every 2 weeks so this is not going to work for us. The only thing that we don’t recycle currently is food waste, so if I say that that may be 1 bin bag, then we still have 4 to account for. What do you suggest that we do with the excess? What about rats, the smell etc. Have you really thought this through??!

  13. I seriously think the council is guilty of discrimination against people who use incontinence products, stoma bags and sanitary items. This waste is extremely personal and should not be on display in clear bags. People should not feel that they have to hide items in the rubbish in order to preserve their own dignity. The answer is not to say you can use the nappy service. Not everyone wants to advertise they have a problem by utilising a special service and as you call it the nappy collection that suggests it is only for childrens nappies. How degrading as an adult with a medical condition to be told hide your products or use the nappy service. You need to rethink this appalling idea now before it goes any further.

  14. I am just appalled and think this warrants a reduced cost of the council tax. While I admit we can do more to recycle, I do not have enough space in my kitchen to keep the bags. As another user has said the bins with 3 compartments are very pricy and I would like to know of a cost effective solution. Why they have to be clear bags I don’t know can they not be appropriately marked black bags to maintain privacy?? If your bin men are collecting less bags their shift will be done much faster therefore costing you less and I think we should see this reflected in our council tax. Also you yourselves have stated you will save on what you pay at land fill, so this should also be reflected in the cost of council tax.

  15. You have recognised that many people are complaining about these changes but have failed to act on them. This is typical of councils who do little more than tick their “consultation” box for the Wales Audit Office but fail to action changes from the results. I am disgusted. I know my vote will be different to those currently in power in Monmouth because they have failed to address the public outcry.

    • Time for a change of mind and proof that our council takes into consideration the views of those that pay for it. Or a change of council at the earliest opportunity.

  16. It’s May 13th. There appears to be little information on how to get a new “brown” bad and permit. When is this going to happen? Or have you slipped on delivery on this? Is the new technology needed to check permits a bit more expensive than you thought?

    “From the summer if you want a kerbside collection then you will need to register and pay for the service so a new brown bag with a permit will be delivered to you.
    We’ll make the process as simple as possible.”

    I actually want the service I paid for when I started paying my council tax. Changing your service mid-year – and expecting people to then pay extra after you have not delivered on something I have already signed an agreement to pay for is not right. Are you in breach of contract?

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