PROPOSALS to move from a three weekly to a four-weekly collection of black bin rubbish have been dumped out of Powys Council’s 2021/22 budget.
The idea was part of a package of cuts and savings proposals in the draft Powys County Council budget worth a total of £11.828 million.
In total, the cuts and savings expected from the Highways, Transport and Recycling Service (HTR) is £980,000 and the change in the collection would potentially have saved £50,000.
The proposal came up for discussion at the Economy, Residents Communities and Governance Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, January 28.
At the meeting head of HTR, Matt Perry explained the need for researching what other waste could be taken out of the black bin for recycling before the authority could “consider the frequency” of collections.
“It’s fair to say that four weekly in 2021/22 is just not achievable,” said Mr Perry.
He added that during the pandemic, 15 per cent more waste had been going in the black bins and that for every percentage point below the Welsh Government’s recycling target, local authorities are fined £100,000.
He believed that more awareness and education is needed to explain what should be recycled.
Cllr David Selby, (Newtown Central – Liberal Democrat) said: “Are you saying that there will be no move to four-weekly collections in next year’s budget?”
Director of Economy and Environment, Nigel Brinn, said: “There’s no proposal.”
Stressing that he was giving a personal view, Mr Brinn added: “I would expect all of Wales to have a four-weekly residual waste collection at some point in time.
“There are a number of things that need to be sorted out such as nappies and bin size, which would support a less frequent collection.”
Committee Chairman, Cllr Mathew Dorrance, (Brecon St John – Labour), pointed out that the proposal was clearly in the budget papers.
Cllr Dorrance, said: “Can I have some clarity?
“The assurance is we are not moving to a four-weekly collection if this budget passes, but the risk assessment and the description does clearly indicate that that is the case.
“If the budget is successful and the cabinet has endorsed it, it sets us on a course to move to an imminent four-weekly collection, because that’s what’s set out.
“You need to explain that.”
Mr Brinn said: “It’s a case of timing, in terms of the settlement coming from the Welsh Government and us getting a chance to update all the documents.
“The assessments will need to be updated to reflect what we have discussed here which is, no proposals for four weekly collections for next year which is what Matt and the team will take away.
“Apologies for any confusion.”
Mr Brinn explained that as part of budget setting discussions many proposals for cuts, savings and creating income are put on the table.
They are then whittled down once the council finds out how much money will be coming their way from the Welsh Government.”