WASTE chiefs in Carmarthenshire are hoping that the public will support a major change in rubbish collection and that fly-tipping won’t increase as a result of it.

Black bin bags will be picked up from the kerbside every three weeks instead of two from the end of January in tandem with an expanded recycling collection.

Glass bottles and jars will be collected in a box – along with black bags – while blue recycling bags will be picked up every week instead of two along with green food waste bins.

Speaking at a council governance and audit committee meeting, Cllr Kim Broom asked if “unintended consequences” of potentially more fly-tipping incidents had been factored as residents got used to putting their black bags out on a three-weekly cycle.

“To be honest, I think there will be an issue with fly-tipping, especially in the early start of the implementation, before there is a change in behaviour,” she said. “I think we need to be aware that this is potentially a problem.”

Cllr Broom also asked if the council had reduced its collection times for bulky waste, which is a paid-for service. “It had almost gone up to one month before you could book an appointment,” she said.

Ainsley Williams, the council’s director of place and infrastructure, said the aim was to change people’s behaviour as research had shown that half of what people put in their black bags could be recycled or composted.

“People in the main will do the right thing,” he said.

Mr Williams also said the council was trying to “catch up” with bulky waste collections, but that there were some logistical issues.

Dan John, the council’s interim head of waste and environmental services, said officers were “fully prepared” for any issues when the new kerbside collection system was launched, and that the bulky waste collection service was being reviewed.

Tivyside Advertiser: Fly-tipping is a crime which blights rural and urban areas and costs councils time and money to clear up.Fly-tipping is a crime which blights rural and urban areas and costs councils time and money to clear up. (Image: Newsquest)

Fly-tipping is a crime which blights rural and urban areas and costs councils time and money to clear up. There were 4,803 recorded fly-tipping incidents in Carmarthenshire in 2021-22, ranging from a single black bag to a tipper lorry-load, according to figures on the Stats Wales website. Clearing up the mess cost £181,528.

Mr Williams said many instances of fly-tipping occurred at the council’s bring your own waste sites, and that enforcement and surveillance work had been undertaken.

The council is writing to all households in the run-up to the new waste collection service and sending them a box to put glass in. Residents can also sign up to a text and email service which will remind them of their collection day and what to put out.

Bring your own glass depots will remain open in the county for three months after the roll-out of the new waste collection service, but some could be closed – based on demand – later on.

The council has added 23 refuse vehicles to its fleet ahead of the new kerbside service, including three electric ones. Funding of £14.3 million has been provided by the Welsh Government.

Recycling has come a long way in Wales over the last 15 years or so, but councils have to hit ever-increasing recycling targets.

Cllr Alun Lenny, cabinet member for resources, told the committee that it could cost the authority around £160,000 for every 1% it fell short of the targets.

“We are not doing this just for the sake of it, we are doing it to meet targets which will have financial consequences if we fail to do so,” he said.