recycling in cardiff

Recycling In Cardiff: The Cities Sustainable Efforts

Whats on this page?

Key Takeaways:

  • Wales is currently ranked third in the world in domestic recycling
  • Cardiff currently recycles 58% of its waste, however they are the lowest performing council in Wales.
  • All of the waste collected is sent to be reused, recycled or as fuel to generate energy.

How Does Recycling In Cardiff Work?

Wales is one of the world’s leading recycling nations. Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, has been making strides in its waste management practices over the years, with a strong focus on recycling. Cardiff Council, the local government authority responsible for waste management in the city, has implemented various recycling initiatives.

Residents and businesses are supplied with recycling containers to dispose of their waste safely, whilst organisations also invest in private waste management companies. All of the waste collected is sent to be reused, recycled or as fuel to generate energy.

What Happens To Your Recycling?

Once the waste has been collected at the kerbside, waste is transported to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Here, sorting removes non-recyclable materials, followed by a vibrating machine separating cardboard and paper. The remaining recyclables continue on the conveyor belt such as steel and plastic. Plastic recycling is identified and sorted using visual scanners.

The History Of Recycling in Cardiff, Wales

Whilst Wales is leading the way for recycling, how did the country reach such success? Below, we are going to explore the initiatives used to hit new heights for their recycling rates.

Funding and targets for Recycling

The Welsh Government has provided over £1 billion since 2000 to help Local Authorities invest in recycling collection services. They also set statutory recycling targets for Local Authorities that increased household recycling from 5.2% (1998-99) to 60.7% (2018-19).

Improved Recycling Centres

There are various recycling facilities in Wales that handle over 20 different waste streams. These facilities also provide on-site shops to reuse materials. The waste can then be upcycled and sold to the public, rather than being recycled or incinerated.

Reduced General Rubbish Collections

Whilst local authorities in Wales offer comprehensive recycling collection days, they have limited general waste collections for wheeled bins. This encourages people to separate materials using the correct recycling bags.

Cardiff provides green bags free of charge where you can recycle paper, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and food containers, empty aerosols and metal food cans all together.

Cardiff Recycling Statistics

  • Cardiff currently recycles 58% of its waste, however they are the lowest performing council in Wales.
  • Wales is currently ranked third in the world in domestic recycling
  • The national recycling rate has exceeded the statutory target of 64%, with a rate of 65.2%.
  • Cardiff City Council provides a mixed collection for recycles to just over 170,000 households in the city. 
  • From 2021-2022, 95k tonnes of waste was recycled.
  • Cardiff Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) handles around 425,000 tonnes of residual waste per year. 

How Your Business Can Recycle More In Cardiff

The first step businesses can take is to conduct a waste audit. By examining what kind of waste your business produces, and in what amounts, you can pinpoint exactly where your recycling efforts need to be channelled. For instance, if a café in Cardiff Bay discovers it discards a high volume of paper and cardboard, it can establish specific bins for these materials.

Various waste management and recycling companies work with businesses across Cardiff. Businesses can use dedicated recycling pickups, ensuring that materials are processed correctly. It’s also worth considering teaming up with neighbouring businesses. 

Incorporating recycled products back into the business cycle is another intriguing approach. A bookstore in the city centre, for example, might opt for recycled paper bags or even sell notebooks made from recycled paper. By creating a demand for recycled products, businesses close the recycling loop and further encourage the culture of sustainability.

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