Black bags searched for recyclable waste at tip
PEOPLE taking black bags to a city waste tip face being turned away if they refuse to have them checked for recyclable rubbish.
Workers at the baling plant in Llansamlet have been asking visitors to open up their rubbish bags.
Swansea Council said the initiative was part of a trial aimed at helping it reach its target of recycling 52 per cent of waste by April next year.
And the council said anyone who did not agree to take part in the scheme would be given the option of going away and checking it themselves.
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One woman who has used the site since the trial started said she was shocked to see staff going through people's bags.
"I have never seen anything like it before, it upset me and other people there as well," said the woman, who did not want to be named.
"When I got there I was told to hand my black bags to men to check through to see if there was anything which could be recycled.
"They have got to go through each individual bag — there were sanitary towels and nappies in some people's bags.
"I said to them that it was disgusting but they value their jobs — particularly in this day and age.
"It saddened me to see people having to do that.
"My objection is why should they be expected to put their hands in bags of filth?"
The woman, who did not wish to be named, said she had fears over the potential health implications of the trial too.
"My concern is that infection could spread," she added.
All five of Swansea's civic amenity sites have recycling facilities in an attempt to get more of us to recycle.
All councils across Wales are expected to reach a 70 per cent target by 2025. Carmarthenshire currently recycles around 48 per cent of its waste while Neath Port Talbot needs to improve its rate by almost 10 per cent to meet the April 2013 target.
A Swansea Council spokesman said: "The council is trialling a recycling initiative at the main civic amenity site to help boost the overall recycling rate in Swansea.
"Any visitors that arrive with black bags have been asked if they would like to participate.
"If they agree, we take their black bag waste away and remove any recyclable materials after they have left the site.
"Anyone that does not wish to participate is given the option of taking the waste away and sorting through it themselves.
"Almost three quarters of the waste that has been sorted has been recycled during the trial.
"We have to recycle 52 per cent of waste by April 2013 and we need residents to support our efforts to make sure we achieve this target."
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