We want your views on Cardiff’s draft waste strategy


A six-week public consultation on how Cardiff will meet Welsh Government recycling targets by 2025 and make Cardiff one of the greenest cities in the UK opens today.

Cardiff is currently the leading, major, regional city in the UK for recycling. Since 2018 around 58% of waste produced in the city is recycled or composted. However, Welsh Government has tasked Cardiff with increasing this rate to 64% as quickly as possible and to 70% by 2025.

Residents are being asked to give their views on seven key initiatives designed to improve the city's recycling and composting rate, including:

  • Improving the quality of the recycling material collected. Residents are being asked to give their views on two different collection systems - a ‘three-stream collection', with separate containers provided for paper and card (fibres); metal and plastics; and glass and jars; and a ‘full kerbside sort', this normally includes at least four containers for different materials.
  • Increasing the amount of recycling. Residents are being asked their views on recycling food waste, garden waste, business (trade) waste, and the use of Recycling Centres.
  • Increasing the opportunity for residents to recycle, via bulky recycling collections, developing new community facilities, and establishing mobile pop-up recycling events closer to residents' homes.
  • Using data to identify and target areas where the recycling rate is low and carrying out targeted actions, such as outreach work in these communities to increase the recycling rate.
  • Reducing single use plastics through the Refill Cymru initiative whereby the public can refill water bottles at cafes free of charge.
  • Encouraging and supporting the reuse and repair of materials in line with the EU Waste Hierarchy - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Developing initiatives likeRepair Café Wales, Benthyg Cymruand the Cabin at Lamby Way, which is a reuse shop.
  • Developing a circular economy, using electric vehicles, waste minimisation education in schools, and deposit-return schemes.

Residents can give their views online here -

Since January this year, 4,000 properties have been taking place in a trial using the ‘three-steam' collection system. Residents were given blue, reusable sacks for paper and card (fibres), a red reusable sack for metals and plastic, and a blue caddy for bottles and jars. Early indications show that the quality of the material collected is vastly improved with the contamination rate falling from 30% to below 5%.

Cllr Michael Michael, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Environment and Recycling, said: "When comparing the recycling and composting rate in Cardiff to other major regional UK cities our figures are excellent and something we should all be proud of, especially our residents, who play a major role in helping us achieve these numbers.

"However, in recent years our recycling rate has flatlined and we now have to look at ways of getting that number moving up again. Since 2020, the overall recycling rate for the city dipped due to the pandemic.

"Since the restrictions have eased, we have taken steps to increase the recycling rate, and we are committed to doing everything we can to reach the 70% target for 2024/25. This will be a huge challenge, especially with the wide variety of homes and businesses in the city, but with the help of our residents I'm sure we can push on. We all know we are facing a climate emergency and this is one of the best and easiest ways to make a difference.

"Waste affects everyone. We want as many people as possible to take part in the consultation as possible. The environmental and financial implications of getting this wrong is vast. In the survey, residents can select which of the priority areas they want to give their views on, and all of the information will be collated and analysed and brought back to help make informed decisions about the way forward."

Why did the council's recycling rate fall during the pandemic? - This is mainly because at the beginning of the crisis, in order to keep our waste service running, we had to send all waste to an energy-recovery facility rather than hand sort it for recycling.It meant little or no waste was recycled during the early months of lockdown. The council had to do this to safeguard staff working in close proximity at our recycling processing plant (MRF). Alongside this, the council's recycling centres at Lamby Way and Bessemer Close were forced to close under direction from Welsh Government. These operational decisions reflected the urgency of the position and were widely reported at the time.