RESIDENTS in Dinas Powys and Penarth could soon have to separate their recycling into different containers.

Major changes to recycling have already been made in Barry and rural parts of the Vale of Glamorgan, with separate containers used for different materials.

As a new recycling plant is set to open in Barry later this year, these changes are almost ready to roll out to the eastern parts of the Vale in October.

Vale of Glamorgan council, which has the second best recycling rate in Wales, has set out a plan for the next decade on how to increase recycling rates further.

Peter King, cabinet member for neighbourhood services and transport, said the Vale’s recycling rates could even be some of the best in Europe.

He said: “In 2020–21 we recorded a recycling performance of 70.6 per cent, the second highest performance in Wales, and likely one of the highest performance figures in the UK and maybe even the EU. We have achieved this performance due to our change to source segregated kerbside recycling.

“I can’t underestimate or over-exaggerate the herculean efforts of our residents, I really do appreciate that. However, about one third of our residents, those living in Penarth, Dinas and the other eastern Vale areas have not yet benefited from these new recycling arrangements and are still co-mingling their materials.”

He was speaking during a cabinet meeting on Monday, March 29, when council bosses approved a new recycling and waste management business plan. Improving recycling rates forms a major part in the council’s decarbonisation plan, called Project Zero.

Barry and western parts of the Vale already separate their recycling, with an orange bag for cardboard; a white bag for paper; a grey caddy for glass bottles and jars; a blue bag for plastic, cans and cartons; a green caddy for food waste; and a green bag for garden waste.

The changes were introduced in rural areas in October 2019 and in Barry in October 2020.

Penarth and Dinas Powys and eastern parts of the Vale still mix recycling into a blue bag. The changes aim to improve the quality of recyclable materials, which is better for the environment and means the council gets a higher income from selling the material. Mixing recycling together can often mean the material is contaminated and unable to be recycled.

A 12-week public consultation will be held in the summer on the new 10-year recycling plan, before it gets final approval. The changes will likely be introduced in October in Penarth, Dinas Powys, Llandough and Sully.

Pembrokeshire has the highest recycling rate in Wales, with 73.2 per cent, and Cardiff the lowest, with 55.8 per cent.

Before the changes can be rolled out, work needs to be finished on a new recycling plant in Barry, as the current one in Cowbridge is at full capacity. The new plant is under construction at the Atlantic Trading Estate.