Monmouthshire reusable recycling bags

Monmouthshire County Council currently collects paper and card in single use red plastic bags, and cans and plastics in single use purple plastic bags from the majority of properties within Monmouthshire.

Reusable bags were trialled with over 4000 households in Monmouthshire in November 2019. Throughout the trial we gathered a lot of data including feedback from residents on the new collection system, collection round timings and market testing.

The results of the trial were successful and reusable bags have already been rolled out to other small areas, with around 9000 households in total now using reusable bags.

It has been agreed that reusable bags will replace single use plastic bags for recycling collections.

We plan to roll out reusable bags across the whole of Monmouthshire in 2023.

Monmouthshire County Council have declared a climate emergency and we are committed to reducing single use plastics. The new bags will reduce the amount of single use plastic bags we use, therefore lessening our impact on the environment.

There are also financial benefits to using reusable bags for recycling collections:
The recycling market prefers to receive the material loose, so removing the plastic bags should reduce the processing cost and allow us to achieve better value for money.
Purchasing of the current single use plastic bags costs around £180,000 per year. Whereas the reusable bags can be used over and over again so they will cost far less to supply.

You will receive an information leaflet with your bag when it is delivered. The bags will be delivered in a phased approach, therefore you may see households in your local area using reusable bags before you have received one yourself.


What happens next?

If you already have reusable recycling bags these will now be used for all recycling collections and we will no longer be collecting single use plastic bags from your household.

If you have received a letter explaining you will be using reusable bags for recycling collections but you do not have any, please use the form below to request for bags to be delivered.

Other areas of Monmouthshire will be changing to reusable bags in 2023. You will receive a letter to explain when this will happen and bags will be delivered to you. The bags will be delivered in a phased approach, therefore you may see households in your local area not using reusable bags during this time.


Request for bags to be delivered

Residents in the reusable bag trial area received a letters 2021 to confirm they will be using reusable bags for future recycling collections. We understand that some bags may have got lost or damaged since the original trial.

Please use this form to request for reusable bags to be delivered, if we have contacted you.

Alternatively you can ring 01633 644644 or visit your local Community Hub to request a delivery.

If you have not received a letter regarding the reusable bags, you will receive information when your area is being rolled out and bags will be delivered automatically to you.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why change?
Reusable bags have been successfully trialled with over 4000 households in Monmouthshire since November 2019.
In May 2019 Monmouthshire County Council declared a Climate Emergency, with unanimous support from Councillors. One of the agreed steps is to reduce our single use plastics and changing to reusable recycling bags will reduce the amount of single use plastic bags we use, benefiting the environment.
The recycling market prefers to receive the material loose so removing our plastic bags should reduce processing costs. Reusable bags can be used over and over again and so will cost less to supply than the single use plastic bags we currently use.

What was the outcome of the recycling trial and public survey?

The new way of collecting recycling has worked well for our collection crews and it has reduced our single use plastics.

Residents on the trial were contacted in May 2020 with a survey to gather public feedback. We had 800 responses out of 2000 households – Thank you so much for your responses.

68% of those residents were happy to continue using the reusable bags in future.

Councilors agreed to permanently change to reusable bags for recycling collections in Monmouthshire. We are aiming for all households in Monmouthshire to be using reusable recycling bags by the end of 2021. This will be done in a phased approach therefore you may see households in your local area not using reusable bags during this time.

Are the reusable bags replacing the single use plastic bags?
Yes, reusable recycling bags will replace the current single use plastic bags for your weekly recycling collections. Once you have received your reusable bags, we will no longer collect recycling in the old single use plastic bags.

Who is using the reusable bags?
Following a successful trial in parts of Monmouth and Caerwent on our large collection vehicles, we have also rolled out reusable bags to some rural areas that are collected on our medium sized vehicle. This means you may see households in your area not included at this time and they will still be using the single-use plastic bags.

Other areas of Monmouthshire will be changing to reusable bags in 2023. You will receive a letter to explain when this will happen and bags will be delivered to you. The bags will be delivered in a phased approach, therefore you may see households in your local area not using reusable bags during this time.

How will I know if I should receive reusable bags?
When you are due to receive the bags you will get a letter through the post.

I haven’t received a reusable bag?
If you have received a letter to say your bags will be delivered and the delivery date has passed with no bags arriving, please complete the reusable bag delivery request form above.

If you have not received any correspondence about the reusable recycling bags and have not been delivered bags then the roll out has not reached you yet.

How do I use the bags?
You can write your house name/number in the box provided on the bags so they are easily identified.
Place your clean recycling inside the correct bag.
Use the Velcro seal to close the bag, this means the recycling will stay dry and securely contained. The bags are weighted to avoid them being blown away.
Place your bags in the usual place by 7am on the morning of collection.

How many bags will I get?
All households will be delivered one red bag and one purple bag. Each bag will hold the equivalent recycling material of two of the previously supplied plastic bags. We know that this capacity will be adequate for most households. Provision can be made for households that produce a
larger quantity of recycling. If you find you are having issues, please contact us.

How will I know which bag is mine?
There is a box on the bags which we ask all residents to put their house name/number on with permanent marker so they shouldn’t get mixed up.

Where should I keep my bag?
Please bring your bags back in from the kerbside after collection and store them on your property.

What should I do with my old plastic recycling bags?

The old single use red and purple bags will no longer be used for recycling collections. You can keep the bags for your personal use. Alternatively you can return them to us by putting them out next to your reusable recycling bags (once you have them) on your next recycling collection day. You can also return the bags to your local Community Hub.

Will my collection days change?
No, your collection days will stay the same. Please put your waste out before 7am. The time that your waste will be collected can differ week to week.

What do I put in the bags?
The items that should go in the bag are the same as your old red and purple bags. Red bag – paper and cardboard. Purple bag – tins and cans, plastic bottles, plastic tubs, trays and punnets and cartons. Please clean food residue from your recycling. The items must go into the reusable bag loose. Please do not put the old recycling bags inside your reusable bag.
Cartons (e.g. tetra paks) should now go into the purple recycling bag.

My bag says cartons (e.g. tetra paks) go in the red bag which is different to the leaflet?

The original supply of bags have printing suggesting cartons go in the red bag. At the time of ordering bags for the trial in 2019 the recycling processors would take cartons with the paper and cardboard.

Since then, the recycling market has changed and it is now recommended that cartons go in the purple bag so they can be separated more easily for the other materials and therefore more will get recycled.

Please put cartons in the purple bag.

What can I do with shredded paper?

Shredded paper can be recycled in the red bag but please put it in a sealed cardboard box (e.g. cereal box) or within a paper envelope. This stops the shredded paper from getting stuck in your bag and reduces the chance of it escaping during the collection.

I will struggle to carry the bags, how can you help?
If you have difficulties carrying the bags, please contact us and our recycling officers will be able to help.

What should I do with large amounts of cardboard?
Any cardboard should be flattened and put inside your red recycling bag if possible. If you cannot fit the cardboard inside your bag you can place flat cardboard up to 1m2 out for collection next to your recycling bag.

What will happen if my recycling is contaminated?
If a recycling bag contains the wrong items it will be stickered to show what the wrong items are and it will be not emptied. Residents should remove the contamination and the recycling will be collected on your next collection. A recycling officer will be available if you need help with your recycling.

Christmas
We realise at certain times of the year including Christmas, a lot of households will produce extra recycling. Extra recycling can be placed out either within a cardboard box or a spare plastic box that the crews will empty and return (please keep red and purple material separate). Cardboard boxes can be flattened and placed out next to your bags (Maximum size 1m2).

How do I report a missed collection?
Please only report waste not collected after 4pm on the day of collection. You can report a missed collection on the My Monmouthshire app or website, call 01633 644644 or visit your local Community Hub. If you register on the “My Monmouthshire” system you will receive updates on your report.

Contact us:
Email: contact@monmouthshire.gov.uk
Call: 01633 644644
Visit: Your Local Community Hub