Posted: Mon 13th Feb 2023

Connah’s Quay Councillor moves to clear up ‘grey areas’ around waste collections and ‘bin lid tax’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Feb 13th, 2023

In response to recent social media posts regarding a so-called ‘bin lid’ tax and fines for ‘side waste’, Flintshire Councillor Bernie Attridge has moved to clarify the council’s rules.

Flintshire council introduced rules around so-called ‘side waste’ and overflowing bins back in 2018.

Cllr Attridge said he has been getting “lots of messages regarding black bin fines.”

In an update on social media, the Connah’s Quay Central Ward member said: “The rules have been in place for some time now, [but it] looks like they [Flintshire Council] is deciding to start to enforce them.”

“Side waste is additional bags or items of waste placed out for collection not presented in the correct containers provided by the authority.”

He said: “A bin that is overflowing due to sacks piled up is also classed as side waste.”

“Collection crews will only collect refuse that is presented at the kerbside in a closed wheelie bin.”

Flintshire council website states.“Additional bags or items that are next to the wheelie bin or wheelie bins that are overflowing and the lid cannot fully close will not be collected.”

Serial offenders could be given a fixed penalty of £75 if they keep putting side waste out for collection.

In terms of recycling and enforcement, Cllr Attridge said: “I would like to help clarify a few grey areas which will hopefully understand why it’s so important.”

He said: “Flintshire is bound by Welsh Government recycling targets and could incur huge fines as a result of not meeting them.”

“In 2021-22, the recycling target was missed by 3,314 tonnes, which could equate to a potential infraction fine of £662,888 if Welsh Government choose to levy a financial penalty.”

“This is clearly not sustainable or affordable given the limited budgets available to us.”

“We all have a positive part to play on managing our waste and separating recyclable material to ensure we succeed in meeting the targets and avoid the fines.”

Cllr Attridge said there is no limit on the amount of recycling you can put out for your weekly recycling collections – if you need more recycling containers you can request this online or by calling 01352 701234.

He also moved to reassure residents they will not be fined straight away if they have been putting side waste out for collection.

To avoid fines, Cllr Attridge emphasised the importance of residents’ role in managing waste and separating recyclable materials.

Finally, Cllr Attridge warned that the council will be monitoring collections and advising residents on how to recycle more and reduce waste.

In cases where residents regularly put out side waste and have not taken the council’s advice, enforcement action may be taken “as a last resort.”

“Additional bags or items that are next to the wheelie bin or wheelie bins that are overflowing and the lid cannot fully close will not be collected.”

“Collection crews will only collect refuse that is presented at the kerbside in a closed wheelie bin.” He said.

Can I be fined for side waste? Here is what Flintshire Council’s website states: 

The Council will be monitoring collections and advising residents how they can recycle more, and reduce the amount of waste put out for disposal.

As a last resort where residents regularly put out side waste and have not taken advice on recycling, the Council may take enforcement action.

First stage (Informal): a warning letter will be issued.

At this stage a letter of advice will be issued and a leaflet on how to reduce waste and what can be separated for recycling.

A notification sticker will also be placed on the bin. The crew will take the side waste on this occasion.

Second stage (Formal): Section 46 Notice will be issued

A formal notice of the intention to take action will be served on the property, this is known as a Section 46 Notice.

At this stage an enforcement officer will be involved to help explain the service and issue advice.

However this stage is recorded and monitored.

On this occasion the crew will not take the side waste, it will be left for the resident to sort materials into the recycling containers provided and dispose ready for next collection.

Third stage (Formal): a Fixed Penalty Notice will be issued.

A fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) will be issued if stage one and two have been unsuccessful in effecting a change in resident’s behaviour and side waste is still presented.

There will be 28 days in which to pay the FPN, charged at £75.

If this remains unpaid then the Council can progress to prosecution.

Any additional waste will again be left for the resident to deal with appropriately.

Please note: the council will not be returning for side waste reported as a missed collection following Stage 2 & 3. Addresses will be logged and monitored.

Why so strict?

Most of what is thrown out from the house can be put out for weekly recycling collections.

Flintshire has made some great progress in reaching National recycling targets however in the last 2 years this has dipped and unfortunately, we are sending more waste for disposal.

We have to achieve the Welsh Government target to recycle 70% of all materials we produce.

This can only be achieved through everyone managing the materials they produce in their home and reducing, reusing, and recycling everything that is possible.

Only place items in the black bin that cannot be recycled.

The council have information on what residents put in their black wheeled bins and there is, on average, still a large amount of recyclable materials being thrown out as waste.

We need to divert this recyclable material from the wheeled bin, and into your weekly recycling collections. To help encourage this, the Council has introduced a limit on the amount of waste that can be put out for collection.

What can be recycled?
You can find a helpful list of items which can be recycled here https://www.walesrecycles.org.uk/…/things-you-might-not…

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