Skip Navigation

This is a new website – your feedback will help us improve it.

Public consultation on potential service changes to help increase recycling performance in Neath Port Talbot


NPT council is looking for further ways to improve recycling rates in Neath Port Talbot. We can’t do this alone, we rely on residents playing their part, so we are seeking views and input to help us understand how we can support residents to recycle more. That is the purpose of this consultation.

In order to protect our planet’s limited natural resources, make progress to zero waste by 2050 and promote a recycling and reusing (a circular economy), Welsh Government, in its National Waste Strategy, "Towards Zero Waste”, has set recycling targets for all councils in Wales. For the past four years, the target has been to recycle 64% of all waste. This year the target has increased to 70%.

Each year, for every 1% that we miss the recycling target by, Neath Port Talbot Council faces fines of around £130,000.

Neath Port Talbot, with the help of our residents, achieved recycling rates as follows:

  • 68% in 2020/21;
  • 66% in 2021-22;
  • 65% in 2022-23; and
  • indications are that we are just short of 68% for 2023-24.

The rates of improvement in recycling began to slow down in 2021-2022, so the council introduced a Waste Strategy Action Plan in April 2023. The target for 2024-25 is to recycle 70% of all waste collected, but at this point there is no certainty we will achieve this by the end of this financial year (31 March 2025).

Furthermore, indications are that targets will only become more challenging in line with the national target to achieve zero waste by 2050. We therefore need to consider further action to improve recycling rates in Neath Port Talbot.

One area of improvement identified relates to food waste. Our most recent analysis of our collected waste showed that 40% of the contents of black bins and black bags were food waste (around 7,000 tonnes). If 2,600 tonnes of this could be recycled, then the 70% target could be achieved. If all of the food waste could be recycled, then it would save Neath Port Talbot almost £1 million.

We want to make it as easy as possible for residents to recycle as much as possible. This is why we collect recycling and food waste every week. By making sure that you put everything that can be recycled in the relevant bags and boxes, a bigger proportion of your recyclable waste will be collected weekly – meaning less to put into black bags and black bins.

What is this consultation about?

To ensure we achieve the new recycling target of 70%, we need to think about more measures to improve recycling rates in the county borough. We can’t do this alone without residents playing their part. So, we are seeking your views and input to help us understand how we can support you to recycle more of your waste.

The decision to consult to improve recycling was taken as part of the council’s Waste Strategy Action Plan which was approved in 2023.

We would like to hear from as many residents as possible so we can design a recycling collection system that works for people.

The council has already actioned a number of measures contained in the Waste Strategy Action Plan. We also identified additional measures that could help improve recycling rates in Neath Port Talbot. These are:

  • encourage residents to recycle even more of their food waste;
  • consider enabling residents to mix paper and cardboard in the same recycling container, thereby enabling the - council to collect and recycle small electrical items (e.g. toasters, shavers, kettles etc.);

The council is not required to collect green waste by law, but we currently deliver this service because we know it is something that residents value. To protect the service, we could also consider introducing a charge for green/garden waste service as it stands i.e. fortnightly collection.

We’d also like to know what you think about collecting non-recyclable black bin/black bag waste three weekly.  Where this has been introduced by other councils, the rates of recycling have improved.  To be clear, introducing three weekly collection of non-recyclable black bin/black bag waste is not in our plans for 2024-25, but we would like to know what you think the impact would be if this was an option we needed to consider in the future.

If we were to reduce the frequency of non-recyclable black bin/black bag waste collections to three weekly, we could also consider additional recycling services, and we’d like to get your views on these too.

  • A weekly collection of green/garden waste with a paid–for, subscription service. For those who choose to subscribe, green/garden waste would be collected weekly (e.g. £26 per year / 50p per week for up to 6 garden waste bags per week, or £40 per year / 77p per week for up to 10 bags per week - a supply of green/garden waste bags would be included in this price). If this went ahead, it would be instead of the fortnightly collection and those who chose not to subscribe would need to make their own arrangements for green/garden waste i.e. by taking it to a recycling centre (which you can access free of charge) or home composting it.
  • Improved nappy collections (and other Absorbent Hygiene Products). Whilst the current collection service is fortnightly, we are only able to recycle part of what we collect.  We’d welcome your view on whether the council should make changes to ensure that we recycle all nappies put out for separate collection (and other Absorbent Hygiene Products).  This could be either at the current frequency, that is fortnightly, which without additional funding would only be achievable alongside a three weekly refuse collection service; or weekly, which could be achievable without additional funding if the service ran alongside a paid-for weekly green/garden waste service, as costs for the collection vehicle would be shared between the two services.

There is no proposal to change the weekly hygiene collection service for residents with stomas and the like – the current service will be maintained.

The purpose of this consultation is to gather views on these options and ask for any additional or alternative ideas for how we might increase recycling in Neath Port Talbot.

At this stage, NO DECISIONS have been taken. Your feedback along with the mid-year recycling figures for 2024-2025 (indicative mid-year figures are usually available at the end of October) will be used to inform a further report to councillors on any potential changes to the service.

Current waste and recycling service arrangements

The council currently provides fortnightly non-recyclable black bin/black bag waste collections alongside weekly collection of recyclables including food waste.

Materials Collection frequency
Recyclable waste (including food waste, cardboard, paper, plastic/tins/cans, glass, batteries) Weekly
Non-recyclable waste (refuse) Fortnightly
Green/garden waste Fortnightly
Absorbent Hygiene Products (e.g. nappies) where current resources allow this to be separately collected Fortnightly
Hygiene waste Weekly (bookable service)

Have your say

This survey will close at midnight on Friday 21 June, 2024.

About your responses

We will not share your personal data with anyone (except in order to meet legal requirements). Please see our Privacy Statement.

In reporting/publishing the results of this survey, we may reproduce comments you have made in open text boxes, but these will always be anonymous/anonymised.